Skip to main content

Full text of "Little Deaf Child : A Book for Parents"

See other formats


The Little Deaf Child 

A Book for Parents 



Founder and Director of The Wright Oral School 
New York City 


Educational Needs of the Deaf 
What the Mother of a Deaf Child ought to Know 
Handbook of Speech Teaching to the Deaf 
Handbook of Auricular Training 

Published by 
New York City 

V 2- SC^ 

Copyrighted 1928 

To my beloved wife from whom 
I daily receive inspiration and 




Please read the book through from beginning to end 
before trying to put its suggestions into practical operation 
in teaching a child. 

You must educate yourself before you can teach another. 

In a little book written to guide physicians 
in advising parents of deaf children, I said: 

^*The situation of a deaf child differs very 
much, from an educational standpoint, from 
that of the little hearing child. Two hours a 
day playing educational games in a kinder- 
garten is as much as is usually given, or is 
needful, for the little hearing child up to six 
or seven years of age ; and his mental devel- 
opment and success in after life will not be 
seriously endangered if even that is omitted 
and he does not begin to go to school until he 
is eight or nine. The hearing child of eight 
who has never been in school and cannot 
read or write has, nevertheless, without con- 
scious effort, mastered the two most impor- 


The Little Deap Child 

tant educational tasks in life. He has learned 
to speak and has acquired the greater part of 
his working vocabulary. In other words, 
although he has never been across the thresh- 
old of a school, his education is well advanced 
for his years and mental development. 

'*The situation of the uninstructed deaf 
child of eight is very different. The task 
which it has taken the hearing child eight 
years to accomplish, the deaf child of eight 
has not even begun. He cannot speak a 
word; he does not even know that there is 
such a thing as a word. He is eight years be- 
hind his hearing brother, and even if he starts 
now, unless some means can be found for aid- 
ing him to overtake his brother educationally, 
he will be only eight years old in education 
when he is sixteen years of age. And when 
he is sixteen, the psychological period will 
have passed for acquiring what he should 
have learned when he was eight. The fact 
that the child is deaf does not exempt him 
from the inexorable laws of mental psychol- 
ogy and heredity. In the development of the 
human mind there is a certain period when 
all conditions are favorable for the acquisi- 
tion of speech and language. Unnumbered 
generations of ancestors acquired speech and 


The Little Deae Child 

language at that stage of their mental de- 
velopment, and this little deaf descendant's 
mind obeys the law of inherited tendencies. 

^^If the speech and language-learning 
period, from two years of age to ten, is al- 
lowed to pass unimproved, the task of learn- 
ing them later is rendered unnecessarily 

Therefore, in the case of the little deaf 
child, the years from two to ten are crucial, 
and of far greater importance than the same 
period in the case of the hearing child.'' 

Even though the child be totally deaf from 
birth, he can nevertheless be taught to speak 
and to understand when others speak to him. 
He can be given the same education that he 
would be capable of mastering if he could 
hear. The mother need not be despairing nor 
heartbroken. A prompt, brave, and intelli- 
gent facing of the situation will result in 
making the child one to be proud of and to 
lean upon. 

In the year 1915 I published a little book 
with the cumbersome title ^^What the Mother 
of a Deaf Child Ought to Know. ' ' It was not 
much of a book, but it was the only thing of 
its kind in print, and has been purchased by 
people all over the world. It has been trans- 

The Little Deaf Child 

lated into Japanese and Mahrati, one of the 
principal languages of India. 

That little book is now out of print and, 
through a mistake of the publishers, the 
plates were destroyed. As requests continu- 
ally come for copies, I have prepared another 
volume that will cover the subject a little 
more adequately. 

I have been principally influenced to do this 
by the instances that keep coming to my 
notice where the first little book, and my other 
writings, have proved of assistance to per- 
plexed parents in widely separated parts of 
the world. One case that will serve as an ex- 
ample came to my knowledge when, in 1924, 
I visited Japan for the second time. In a re- 
mote town, on the shores of a beautiful lake, 
a Japanese father with six children discov- 
ered that one of them, a little daughter, was 
not progressing as the others. Long investi- 
gation and much consultation finally brought 
him to the conclusion that the little girl was 
deaf. He went to the nearest city, where 
there was a school for deaf children, but the 
conditions, both physical and educational, 
which he found there were not such as he was 
willing to accept for his child. But what else 
could he do? On the occasion of my first 


The Little Deae Child 

visit to Japan, in 1920, I had visited that 
school and had presented them with a sub- 
scription to the Volta Review, a magazine 
published in Washington, D. C, on behalf of 
the oral education of the deaf. A copy of this 
magazine was given to him and in it he read 
of my little book and of the Correspondence 
Course which I have prepared and which is 
conducted by the staff of my school in New 
York. He wrote at once for the book and sub- 
scribed for the Correspondence Course. Ar- 
ranging for the conduct of his business in 
such a way as to leave his time less fully 
occupied, he set about the task of teaching 
his little deaf daughter. He threw himself 
into the work heart and soul. He not only 
put to use all the material that came to him 
through the Correspondence Course, but he 
manufactured much other material. All the 
lessons had, of course, to be translated into 
Japanese before they could be used with the 
little girl. Many modifications were required 
to carry out the suggestions in a language 
different from that for which they were de- 
signed. He met the problem so successfully 
that when I saw his little child, a year and a 
half after he had begun his work, I found her 
able to understand much that was said to her 


The Little Deae Child 

in Japanese, and even to reply with some 
speech, and to ask many questions. She 
could both read and write a little and could 
add, subtract, multiply and divide. The 
father had devoted practically his whole time 
to the child during that year and a half, going 
to her bedside when she awoke in the morn- 
ing, and being the last to see her when she 
went to bed at night. It had meant a consid- 
erable sacrifice of leisure, effort and money, 
but the results were so fine that he was the 
happiest of men. He was training a young 
Japanese lady and his eldest daughter also 
to relieve him of much of the teaching of the 
little deaf child, and soon expected to be able 
again to devote himself more fully to his 

That was, of course, an exceptional in- 
stance, and the only one in my long experi- 
ence in which such a task has been undertaken 
by a father, but the same thing is being done 
every year in many parts of the world by 
devoted mothers, and their deaf children, as 
they grow up, *^call them blessed.'' 

The first book was dedicated to my wife, at 
whose suggestion it was written, and the 
present volume is affectionately offered to 
her, for it owes much to her interest and 

. 10 


There are some 17,000 children in Special 
Schools for the deaf in the United States. 
Probably there are as many more who are not 
of school age or have not as yet been sent to 
schools for the deaf. Let us say thirty thou- 
sand in a population of ninety millions, or 
3i per cent. 

It is estimated that in our public schools 
1 per cent, of the pupils have hearing so im- 
perfect as to form a handicap, but not suf- 
ficiently imperfect to make them suitable 
candidates for Special Schools for the deaf. 
There is probably another 1 per cent, not yet 
in school. This would make a rough total of 
5 per cent, of the children in our country with 
impaired hearing, or four and one-half mil- 
lion in a population of ninety millions. 

There will probably always be deaf chil- 
dren in the world, but if it could be brought 
about that every young man and young 
woman before becoming engaged to be mar- 
ried had the information contained, for ex- 
ample, in the printed lectures of Dr. Kerr 

The Little Deae Child 

Love, of Glasgow, on ^'The Causes and Pre- 
vention of Deafness and could be persuaded 
to act in accordance with the suggestions 
based upon known facts, the number of cases 
of deafness in the world would be enormously 

Every opportunity should be seized by 
those possessing the information to spread a 
knowledge of it, and, while this book is made 
for the purpose of helping the parents of 
little deaf children to solve the problems with 
which they are faced by the cases of deafness 
that have already occurred, it may not be 
amiss to briefly state essential facts that are 
known concerning the causes and possible 
prevention of deafness, in the hope that this 
knowledge may be passed on to the younger 
generation who will be future fathers and 

First with regard to the chances of having 
children who are born with impaired hearing. 

It is a very remote chance that such a child 
will be born to two persons whose hearing is 
entirely normal and in whose families there 
are no relatives who were born deaf. 

The possibility is somewhat greater if 
there are relatives on either side who were 
born deaf, and this chance is increased if 


The Little Deae Child 

there are such relatives on both the father's 
and the mother's side. 

These chances are further increased if the 
parents are related to each other ; as, for ex- 
ample, first or second cousins. 

It will be noticed that I have particularly 
said relatives who were born deaf.'' The 
existence of relatives who have been made 
deaf by illness, accident or old age, does not 
materially increase the chances of the related 
couple having deaf children, though it may 
indicate a strain of weakness" in the mat- 
ter of hearing that might render the occur- 
rence of deaf children slightly more probable 
than if all history of deafness was absent in 
the families. 

The existence of a syphilitic, epileptic or 
alcoholic history in the family of either 
father or mother greatly increases the 
chances of deaf offspring, as it does of other 

The marriage of a person without deaf 
relatives but whose hearing has been im- 
paired or destroyed by illness, such as 
cerebro-spinal meningitis, scarlet fever, mea- 
sles, whooping cough, typhoid fever, mumps 
or a fall or blow, to name the most common 
causes, is no more likely to result in deaf 


The Little Deaf Child 

children than that of a person with normal 

A person whose hearing has been impaired 
from birth, or from such early infancy that 
no one can be sure it was not from birth, is 
more likely to have a deaf child than a per- 
son with perfect hearing. 

If both parents are in this condition the 
chances are enormously increased, and if, on 
either or both sides, there is a history of 
deafness in the family, the chances are still 
further increased. 

The time may be far distant when the fun- 
damentals of eugenics will play any consider- 
able part in the choice of a wife or a hus- 
band, but that should be the case now, and 
every opportunity should be seized to inform 
young people of the laws of heredity. 

Deafness in the child may come from the 
failure of the mother to take proper care of 
herself during the pre-natal period, or from 
insufficient sanitary and surgical precautions, 
and the use of instruments at the time of 

So much for the prevention of the occur- 
rence of congenital deafness, that is, deaf- 
ness at birth. 

The Little Deae Child 

With regard to the prevention of deafness 
as a result of illness I can only say here that 
any sickness that is accompanied by con- 
tinued high fever, especially if there is infec- 
tion of the nose, throat, ear or brain, is a 
menace to the hearing. Neglected catarrhal 
colds are also a prolific cause of impaired 

I have already mentioned the principal ill- 
nesses that result in deafness, and this deaf- 
ness might in many cases have been pre- 
vented if, during the early stages of the 
disease, an ear specialist had been called in 
consultation with the regular family physi- 
cian. The slightly increased expense may 
save vastly greater expenditures later. 

Occasionally deafness comes from careless- 
ness in connection with the cleanliness of the 
outer ear and the prolonged presence of hard- 
ened wax. Also from the insertion of things 
into the ear. A good rule is to put nothing 
but the elbow into the ear. 

In the case of all the diseases I have men- 
tioned and in cases of tonsilitis, quinsy, diph- 
theria and influenza where the ear is af- 
fected, every precaution should be taken to 
prevent the infection from spreading to the 


The Little Deaf Child 

inner ear, and an ear specialist should be 
called together with the general practitioner. 

Not only should the ear specialist be con- 
sulted in the cases of the sicknesses I have 
named, but if any impairment of hearing is 
noticed at any time he should be given an op- 
portunity to carefully examine the ears and 
determine what is causing the trouble. Some- 
times it is due merely to an accumulation of 
hard wax, or to the beginning of a little in- 
flammation that will quickly disappear under 
treatment, but that may result in permanent 
deafness if neglected. 

While much has been learned about the 
prevention of deafness, comparatively little 
has been discovered concerning its cure when 
once it has occurred. It is very accurate to 
say that, at present, deafness is incurable. 
In the case of progressive catarrhal deafness 
the ear specialist has developed means of 
retarding the advancement of the disease, but 
he is not able to cure it. 

Where deafness is due to one of the various 
causes I have mentioned, and is definitely es- 
tablished, I am of the opinion that all that can 
be done is to keep everything clean and 
sound and the person in the best possible gen- 
eral health. Everything else has seemed to 
be useless, and often injurious. 


The Little Deaf Child 

The osteopath, chiropractor, or whatever 
that type of treatment may be called, has 
failed absolutely in each of the very many 
cases that have come within my personal 
knowledge during the past thirty-eight years 
where that practice has been employed. I 
have never known of a single instance where 
the slightest benefit has resulted from months 
and even years of such treatment, and I con- 
sider it a waste of time, money and the chil- 
dren's strength. 

In the cases of little children the problem 
then becomes solely one of training and edu- 
cation. Very much can be done along these 
lines at home while the child is yet too young 
for school and that is where I hope this little 
volume may be of some service to the per- 
plexed mother, wholly inexperienced in the 
situation which confronts her. 

Having spent thirty-eight years in the 
actual teaching and training of deaf children, 
as well as having had exceptionally wide op- 
portunities for observing the work of others 
in all parts of the world, I am able to enter 
fully and sympathetically, as well as intelli- 
gently, into the difficulties and labors involved 
in the early training and first teaching of the 
little deaf child by its mother. 


The Little Deaf Child 

It is not possible within the limits of this 
small volume to give explicit and detailed di- 
rections for the daily work throughout a year, 
or period of years, nor can that be success- 
fully done by means of a book. It requires 
frequent correspondence and constant adap- 
tation of the work to the individual necessi- 
ties and personal situation of each child. 

To meet this need I prepared some years 
ago a Correspondence Course'' which is 
conducted by the staff of my school in New 
York. This course is being used successfully 
by parents and friends of deaf children in 
many parts of the United States and in re- 
mote portions of the world, and is enabling 
many a deaf child to use the early and price- 
less years of his life before school age is 

In this volume I will endeavor to outline 
the work that can profitably be done at home 
by untrained persons, but if the continued, 
systematic teaching of the child is to be done 
at home either a trained teacher should be 
employed, or the mother should subscribe to 
the * Correspondence Course." 

The matter which deals with the actual 
training of the child I will arrange in three 
periods. 1st— For the first two years of life. 


The Little Deae Child 

2nd— For the third and f onrtli years of life. 
3rd— For the fifth year of life. When the 
age of five or six has been reached, it is best 
to enter the child in some suitable school, or 
employ a specially trained and experienced 
teacher in the home. 

If the reader does not get the book till the 
child has reached some one of the later stages 
of maturity, say when he is four or five years 
of age, without having had any of this special 
training, and it is desired to then begin his 
training in accordance with the suggestions 
contained here, it would be well to begin at 
the very beginning, as one would with a very 
young child, and go systematically through 
with every step outlined in the following 
pages, just as if the beginning had been made 
at one year instead of five. The early exer- 
cises will be very simple and easy for the 
older child and it will not be necessary to 
dwell upon them so long as in the case of the 
younger, but the early steps should be care- 
fully taken just the same. While it will be 
possible to pass over the preliminary training 
faster, the speed should not be such as to 
leave the abilities unacquired that the exer- 
cises are designed to develop. The funda- 
mental principles apply equally to all ages. 



Do not be downcast. 

Deafness does not, necessarily, bring dumb- 

Do not consider the deaf child as different 
from other children. 

Do not cease talking to him. 

Do not speak with exaggerated facial move- 

Do not exempt him from the duties and 
tasks and obedience properly demanded of all 

Do not let him grow selfish. 

Do not let him grow indifferent. 

Do not be in haste. 

Do not show impatience. 



Deafness is by no means the worst of misfortunes 

The First Two Years oe Liee 

SERIOUS impairment of hearing is, un- 
questionably, a misfortune under any cir- 
cumstances, and it is a far greater misfortune 
in the case of a little child than for an adult, 
but there are many vastly greater calamities. 

There is no reason for depression, or dis- 
couragement, on the part of the deaf child, or 
its parents, in contemplating a life even 
wholly deprived of the sense of hearing. Mr. 
Edison says he has found many advantages 
in his profound deafness. 

So far as I know, there is no sphere of ac- 
tivity, except music, that is not open to the 
successfully taught and properly trained and 
educated deaf child, if his character and men- 
tal equipment would have suited him for that 
activity had not hearing been impaired, or 

Every form of pleasure, with the exception 
of music, is open to even the totally and con- 


The Little Deaf Child 

genitally deaf person, and wliile there are 
some careers more easily attained by deaf, 
people than certain other careers, it would 
be hard to discover any profession, or occu- 
pation, in which some deaf man or woman is 
not being successful. 

Certain forms of occupation present 
greater difficulties to the totally deaf than 
others, but there are many activities in which 
they can take part with little, or no handicap. 
Such, for example, are all occupations involv- 
ing manual dexterity and quickness and ac- 
curacy of sight. Architecture, draughting, 
mechanical drawing, civil, mechanical and 
electrical engineering, chemistry in all its 
manifold ramifications, textile engineering, 
efficiency engineering, advertising, printing, 
dentistry, photography, all the trades, en- 
graving, bookkeeping, expert accounting. In 
all these things success depends upon other 
things than hearing, and hearing is not es- 

But to successfully accomplish this result 
there must be early and careful planning by 
the parents, and efficient, persistent and 
painstaking instruction of the child from the 
earliest possible discovery of the existence of 


The Little Deaf Child 

The sooner that the fact of serious impair- 
ment of hearing in the case of a child is dis- 
covered and bravely accepted, the better are 
the child's chances of ultimate success m Me. 

The longer the delay in arranging the 
child's life in accordance with the changed 
requirements made necessary by deafness, 
the poorer are the chances of attaining the 
highest possible success in that individual 

case. , , i. 

It would be weU if the early chapters ot 
this book could be read by every young 
mother before her child is six months old. it 
is for the lack by parents of the knowledge 
contained in these chapters that many a deat 
child reaches the age of four or five years 
without the full recognition, or at least the 
acceptance, of deafness on the part of the 
parents, and therefore suffers the loss of 
very precious and unrecoverable time. 

As certain modifications should be made in 
the home life of a little deaf child the moment 
deafness is suspected, the earlier that the 
fact of impaired hearing is discovered and 
the proper training is begun, the better it 
will be for the child in after years. 

I have said that the impairment of hearing 
in the case of a little child is a greater hin- 

The Little Deaf Child 

drance than the same degree of deafness 
would be in an adult, or a young person who 
had previously acquired speech and some 
education. The reason for this is because 
comprehension of language and the ability to 
speak are acquired through hearing during 
the early years of life. If at this period of 
language acquisition the child cannot hear, he 
does not learn to speak and to understand 
what is said to him unless he receives very 
special instruction and attention. 

The only reason why a deaf child is also 
mute is because the ear is the natural teacher 
of speech. Without that teacher, the child 
must be instructed in some other way. 

So far as the organs of speech and all 
physical and mental equipment are concerned 
there is very rarely any reason why the deaf 
child should not learn to speak. He usually 
possesses perfectly normal speech organs and 
a perfectly normal brain. The only reason 
why he does not pick up speech and language 
like any other child is because he does not 
hear it and so cannot imitate it, nor correct 
his utterance when he makes sounds. The 
natural teacher and corrector, the sense of 
hearing, is lacking. Something must be sup- 
phed to take its place. Physically and men^ 


The Little Deae Child 

tally he is entirely capable of learning to 
speak and to understand what is said to him, 
if only there was some way found of teaching 
him the meaning of the words and of correct- 
ing his attempts at utterance. The way has 
been found, and the necessary organizations 
exist all over the world for conveying to the 
deaf child the required instruction, but first 
of all it is necessary to educate his parents 
and friends in order that they may know 
what is possible and where and how to obtain 

Curiously enough there exists in all parts 
of the world a certain feeling of shame on the 
part of parents toward their deaf children 
that they do not feel toward children having 
defects of sight, or of other organs. This 
feeling of shame causes the parents to try 
and conceal the facts and to keep the child 
out of public notice. Even when they become 
aware of the schools provided for the educa- 
tion of such children it is often difficult to 
persuade the parents to send the deaf child 
there. In this way they greatly increase the 
calamity and their own troubles. 

There is no more real reason for such a feel- 
ing with regard to a deaf child than about a 
blind, or lame, child. Deafness is merely a 
handicap that must be overcome, and the 


The Little Deaf Child 

sooner the task of overcoming it is begun the 
more perfect will be the results. Delay in the 
acceptance of the fact and in taking the neces- 
sary steps to remove its consequences so far 
as they can be removed, results in the loss of 
precious time that will never come again. 

There is a certain period in human devel- 
opment for each phase of acquisition, and 
when that period passes without that part of 
the mental equipment having been secured, 
the task of getting it later is rendered much 
more difficult. This is especially true in the 
matter of speech and language. Nature has 
decreed, and for millions of years has been 
carrying out that decree, that speech and 
language shall be best acquired between the 
ages of two and ten. If those years pass 
without this acquisition then the difficulty of 
learning to speak and to understand language 
becomes vastly greater. 

When deafness comes upon an adult, or 
young person who has learned to speak and 
understand language, it does not make a 
deaf-mute of him, though in the case of 
young children of ten or twelve special care 
must be taken if they become deaf or else 
there will be a serious impairment of speech 
and language. The adult, too, upon whom 


The Little Deaf Child 

deafness has fallen, should give very particu- 
lar attention to the matter of clear enuncia- 
tion and the modulation of the voice in order 
to prevent unfortunate changes. 

But in the case of the very little child the 
situation is very different. Then there must 
be a very great modification of procedure 
and treatment and training, both at home and 
in school, and that change should be begun 
at the earliest possible moment. 

The first thing to do when it is suspected 
that the child does not hear perfectly is to 
consult the best ear specialist available. 
There may be something that medicine, or 
surgery, can do to improve the hearing. 

In case a competent, well trained and ex- 
perienced aurist thinks it worth while to treat 
the child, I strongly advise that educational 
measures be maintained at the same time. 
That this is both feasible and desirable, even 
in the cases of delicate children, has been 
amply demonstrated by experience covering 
many years. Such educational effort can do 
only good even if the doctor is successful, 
and if he fails, then very precious time will 
not have been wasted. 


The Little Deaf Child 

Residual Hearing and Auricular Training 

One of the things that should be begun the 
moment that any impairment of the child's 
hearing is even suspected is to make a very 
special point of speaking constantly to the 
child quite near the ear very clearly and nat- 
urally with good, full voice. I cannot lay too 
much stress upon this, simple and obvious as 
it may seem. 

Over and over again during the many 
years I have conducted my school, children 
have been brought to me at six and seven 
years of age with very poor speech, or no 
speech at all, with very little language, or no 
language whatever, who might have had 
quite good speech and an almost normal 
vocabulary, if the simple device had been 
adopted when they were two years old, or 
younger, of constantly speaking to them 
clearly and strongly at a few inches, or, per- 
haps even less, from their ears. 

These children have often come from 
homes of culture and education, yet their 
parents had not realized what lay easily 
within their power to do ^ for their deaf 

The explanation of how such a thing can 
happen lies in the failure of most people to 


The Little Deae Child 

understand tlie natural result of tlie working 
of the perfectly well known law of sound 
transmission. This law is that the intensity 
of the impression that is made upon the hear- 
ing mechanism varies inversely as the square 
of the distance between the ear and the 
source of the sound. Put in household words 
the law is that a word spoken one inch from 
the child's ear makes twelve hundred and 
ninety-six times as much impression upon his 
hearing as would be made if the same word 
was spoken in the same tone a yard from his 
ear, since 1296 is the square of 36. The first 
distance away being one inch and the second 
thirty-six inches. The intensity also varies 
directly as the loudness, which means that if 
the word was spoken twice as loudly at the 
distance of an inch as it was at the distance 
of a yard, the impression made upon the 
child's ear would be two thousand, five hun- 
dred and ninety-two times greater. 

Now a child may easily be so deaf that he 
cannot hear a word spoken in an ordinary 
tone a yard from his ear, and yet have a suf- 
ficient power of perceiving sound to hear that 
word quite well if it was spoken a little louder 
at an inch from his ear, since then it would 
make more than two thousand times greater 
impression upon his hearing. 


The Little Deaf Child 

Since the ordinary distances of social inter- 
course in the home are more than three feet, 
and usually from six to ten feet, a little child 
with impaired hearing playing on the floor, 
or in his crib, does not hear what is said 
around him, not even when it is addressed to 
him. Not hearing, he does not learn to 
understand, and he does not begin to imitate 
the sounds of speech. 

At first, perhaps, the parents and friends 
only think that he is ''slow about talking," 
then that he is a little dull, and then that he 
is hopelessly deaf. And all the time that 
little fellow may have had a sufficient ability 
to hear sounds at very short range to have 
made it possible to train him to understand 
and to speak like other children if special 
care had been constantly exercised to speak 
to him very distinctly and with full voice very 
near his ear. 

Over and over again we have begun this 
process when the child was finally brought to 
school and have gradually taught Mm to hear. 
This, however, might have been far advanced 
if the parents and friends had only adopted 
the proper procedure in his early infancy 
and continued it persistently. 

In some cases that have come under my 
observation the child has had enough hearing 


The Little Deae Child 

so that, if this simple habit had been adopted 
by the parents he would not have needed to 
attend a school for the deaf at all, but could 
have gone on with his brothers and sisters 
who had normal hearing. In many other 
eases the hearing has not been sufficient to 
enable the child ever to depend entirely upon 
it, but it was of the greatest service in supple- 
menting the use of his eyes in lip-reading, 
and in modulating the speaking voice. 

During the past thirty-eight years I have 
had opportunities of observing pupils in the 
schools for the deaf throughout almost the 
entire world and I have been surprised to find 
what uniformity there is in the percentage of 
those pupils who have a usable degree of 
sound perception. It can be said with consid- 
erable accuracy to be one third, or 33 1/3 per 
cent. In most cases this hearing is not being 

In a recent very accurate survey of a large 
state institution for the deaf it was found 
that this percentage was slightly exceeded, 
and that only 7 2/5 per cent, could be classi- 
fied as ''totally" deaf. As a matter of fact 
actual total deafness in children is much 
rarer than has been supposed, as a large 
number have slight remnants of hearing 


The Little Deae Child 

power which are not sufficient to be of any- 
practical importance to them in life. 

But whether the degree of hearing pos- 
sessed is large or small, the procedure I am 
urging is sure to be helpful and valuable. 
Even when the ear specialist has pronounced 
the child to be totally deaf I believe it is 
worth while to make a point of speaking 
clearly and loudly very near his ear during 
his early childhood, for sometimes unob- 
served changes take place after the examina- 

In as much as the eyes can be trained to 
supplement the imperfect hearing in the com- 
prehension of speech, it is an excellent plan 
when a little child is so deaf that it is neces- 
sary to speak within so short a distance from 
his ear that he cannot see the face of the 
speaker, to carry on as much conversation 
with him as possible while he is facing a big 
mirror in which he can see the face of the 
speaker reflected while he listens to what is 
being said. We, ourselves, get much more 
assistance from our eyes in understanding 
speech than we realize, and the child will 
quickly learn to use both his eyes and his ear 
in understanding what is said to him. This 
will gradually lead him to always watch the 

The Little Deat Child 

lips of those speaking to him and little by 
little he will unconsciously begin to read the 

Of course there are, unfortunately, many 
instances in which the child is really totally 
deaf, but these are somewhat rarer than is 
generally supposed. During the early years 
of childhood, however, I firmly believe it to 
be advisable not to wholly abandon the idea 
that there may be some usable power of 
sound perception, and to proceed on that 
supposition, since the procedure is simple 
and only requires persistence and can do no 
harm, even though it does no good, and may 
have extraordinarily beneficial results. 

Between the ages of twelve months and 
twenty-four months the child with perfect 
hearing makes rapid progress in learning to 
understand what is said to him, and by the 
time he is two years old has usually begun to 
speak many words and sentences in a more 
or less imperfect way. This has been accom- 
plished principally by the mother's constant 
talking to her baby. If she has had the good 
sense to always speak in simple but complete 
sentences, and to avoid the foolish ^^baby 
talk" unfortunately affected by some people 
in addressing little children, the results of 


The Little Deaf Child 

her daily and hourly talk is the possession by 
the child of a considerable vocabulary of 
words whose meaning he knows, and a less 
number that he is able himself to speak in a 
rather imperfect way. 

In what respects should the mother modify 
her treatment of the baby if she suspects that 
his hearing is defective? She should not talk 
to him any the less on this account, but, on 
the contrary, she should talk to him more. 
She should, however, speak a little louder, a 
little nearer to him, possibly a little more 
slowly and distinctly. 

Every opportunity should be seized to say 
to him, very near, or even in contact with his 
ear, the same words and sentences that would 
be spoken to him if he heard as well as other 

Every day the mother should take him on 
her lap and show him picture books and talk 
to him about them, speaking clearly very 
near his ear. If she can sing, even a very lit- 
tle bit, she should hold him in her arms and 
sing to him each evening before he is put to 
bed, always having her lips very near his 

In fact, during his infancy, before there 
can be exact knowledge as to what is to be 


The Little Deaf Child 

the condition of his hearing through life, 
everyone who has anything to do with him 
should try to present to him, at very short 
distances, exactly the same language, both in 
character and amount, that would be used 
with a child whose hearing was in no way 
impaired. This procedure can do no harm, 
as I have already said, and it may do a great 
deal of good in keeping alert any remaining 
power of sound perception which he possesses 
and in developing those areas of the brain 
that are connected with the hearing organ 
alone. Without use these powers would 
become atrophied, and possibly be lost, but 
by doing as I suggest they can be kept alive, 
and perhaps developed, so that when he has 
attained enough maturity to respond to the 
further tests which I shall later describe, he 
will be able to make the necessary effort. 

It is highly desirable to know, at as early 
an age as possible, the exact facts with re- 
gard to the hearing and sight of every child, 
but especially so in the case of the child with 
impaired hearing. 

For a physician to conduct a satisfactory 
test in his office of either hearing or sight of 
children two, or even three years of age, is 
practically impossible, and yet it is exceed- 


The Little Deae Child 

ingly desirable that the condition should be 
known with some approximation to accuracy 
at that age, if not earlier. 

The mother can arrive at a truer estimate 
of the situation with such little children than 
can be secured by a physician in his office. 
In the matter of hearing, the routine tests 
applied by the otologist in his office are of 
but slight value in the case of very little 
children. The process is too long and re- 
quires too much patience to be carried out in 
the regular course of office practice, and it is 
impossible to get reliable responses from 
such young children in the tests with tuning- 
forks upon which the specialists so largely 
rely. It is very difficult to verify the truth 
of the child's indication that he hears the 
fork by air conduction, and when he is so lit- 
tle he does not grasp the distinction between 
the mechanical vibration which he certainly 
feels when the fork is placed against his 
head, in testing for *'bone conduction," and 
the effect of the vibration which is conveyed 
to his brain by the hearing mechanism and 
there translated into what we call hearing.'' 
He nods his head, smiles, and shows evident 
pleasure and perception, and the temptation 
is to say that he hears. He may, but then 


The Little Deae Child 

again lie may only feel the physical vibration 
and would make the same response if the 
fork was placed against his breast bone, or 
knee, or his knuckles. 

It is better, therefore, to slowly and syste- 
matically make our experiments in the nat- 
ural environment of the home. 

In this book we are principally interested 
in the state of hearing, but as the deaf child 
must depend to such a great extent upon his 
sight to aid and supplement his defective 
hearing, it is necessary for the parents to 
know that he sees at least well enough to 
enable him to learn to read the Hps of those 
addressing him at ordinary social distances. 
I will, therefore, include a set of very simple 
and rudimentary tests of sight that can be 
applied to even a little child in his own home 
by his parents that will determine whether he 
sees sufficiently well for that purpose without 
the help of glasses or surgical attention. But 
as these tests cannot be satisfactorily made 
before he enters upon his third year of life 
they will be given when we reach that period. 

While an accurate determination of the 
degree of hearing a child possesses cannot be 
made when he is only three, the parents can, 
with patience and persevering observation 


The Little Deaf Child 

and test, arrive at a considerable knowledge 
in the matter even before that age, and I will 
suggest the procedure which has been found 
practicable. If, however, the following tests 
are first made before the end of the third year 
of life, they should be carefully repeated 
after that age, as more satisfactory results 
may be obtained when he is older. 

We first wish to find out whether he can 
hear the human voice at ordinary social dis- 
tances of from five to ten feet. 

When the child is occupied, playing on the 
floor, or at a low table, take a position some 
ten feet behind him and call his name in a 
clear, strong voice, but without shouting. 
The greatest care must be taken to eliminate 
all other ways by which the child's attention 
might be attracted except by the sound of the 
voice carried through the air. See that in 
approaching you have not caused the floor to 
vibrate, or have made any other noise that 
might attract his attention. We are all very 
sensitive to the vibration of the floor, or the 
chair in which we are sitting, and the deaf 
child is especially alert to such sensations, as 
they are often his only warning of the ap- 
proach of a person. See that there is no 
reflection of you in any door or window, or 


The Little Deaf Child 

any other polished surface within his sight 
and that your shadow does not fall m ad- 
vance of you and within his observation. 

If he does not look around when you call 
him the first time, it is by no means certain 
that it is because he cannot hear you. lie 
may have been so absorbed in his occupation 
that, at the moment, he was "psychologi- 
cally" deaf, as you, yourself, often are to 
sounds about you when your mmd is occu- 
pied, and, though the sound of your voice was 
received by his ear and transmitted to his 
brain, it did not result in consciousness 
Sometimes, too, when he has caught you at it 
several times, he thinks it is a game, and pur- 
posely fails to respond, in a spirit of play- 
fulness, or contrariness. 

Neither, on the other hand, is it a sure sign 
that he heard you even if he did look around 
when you called. There may have been a 
shadow or a reflection that attracted his 
attention, or you may have caused the vibra- 
tion of the floor, or his chair, or have made 
some sharp little sound other than with your 
voice. Or he may have just happened to look 
around at that instant, as not infrequently 

occurs. , 
Whether he looks around, or not, on tne 


The Little Deaf Child 

first test, the experiment should be repeated 
many times with the same care to shut out all 
other possibilities except the sound of your 

If you are thoroughly convinced that he 
does hear your voice when you call his name 
from a distance of ten feet, then continue 
your tests at increasing distances till you 
reach the limit beyond which you cannot get 
his attention by air conducted sound alone. 

When you have determined this distance, 
then make other tests at ten feet, but not so 
loud, until you know just how loud you have 
to speak at ten feet to make him hear. 

If you have convinced yourself that, at a 
distance of ten feet, he does not hear you 
when you speak his name strongly, but with- 
out shouting, then gradually reduce the dis- 
tance. I have already spoken of the enor- 
mous rapidity with which volume of sound 
that reaches the ear is reduced as the distance 
IS increased. A slight reduction of your dis- 
tance from his ear is the same as greatly 
increasing the loudness with which you 

If you finally find that you have to get so 
close to him that you cannot make the tests 
without his first knowing that you are going 


The Little Deaf Child 

to do so, then you should modify the method 
a little. For success in these further tests a 
little more maturity is required than the 
child has at two years of age, and the attempt 
to arrive at a more accurate estimate of his 
hearing should be postponed a few months, 
or even till he is over three. 

In the meantime, however, we shall not pro- 
ceed on the supposition that he cannot hear 
at all, but shall use many exercises directed 
to his ears in the hope that he can, or will 
learn to, perceive at least some sound. 

If you have found that at a distance of ten 
feet, or less, you can attract his attention by 
means of the voice alone, you can, if you wish, 
continue your experiments a little further and 
try some other vowel sounds. You can use 
the words, ^^car,'' *^coat,'' ^^cake," ^^key," 
instead of his name. I mean, using one of 
these words at a time. It is quite likely that 
you will find he does not respond to some of 
these words at as great a distance, or as 
readily, as to others of them, since the vowel 
sounds they contain have different ''carry- 
ing'' powers. He may hear the word ''car'' 
more easily and at a greater distance than the 
others, and the word "key" least well of the 
four. This would be because the vowel sound 


The Little Deaf Child 

of the word ''car'^ is the most '^open'' of the 
vowel sounds in the four words and makes a 
greater impression upon the ear than the 
vowel sound of the word *'key'' which is the 
most ''closed'' of the four. 

You can also experiment a little in the 
matter of pitch of sounds that he hears, by 
trying him with a man's voice and a woman's, 
or a child's. Also by using a whistle giving 
a low note and another giving a high note. 

No great stress, however, should be laid 
upon the use of whistles, or bells, because our 
great reason for interest in his ability to hear 
is in connection with his ability to hear the 
human voice in conversational tones by means 
of which we can help him to learn to under- 
stand what is said to him and, later, to speak 
himself. The ability to hear a shrill whistle, 
or a very deep organ note, or a telephone 
bell, or other sound higher or lower than the 
range of the voice is not of great service to 
us in our educational training of the child, 
and so not, at present, of much importance. 

If the experiments have proved that he can 
hear spoken sounds at a distance of four feet, 
or more, everyone about him should take the 
greatest care to speak to him always in a 
clear, strong voice within the distance at 


The Little Deae Child 

which he can hear. This will greatly help 
him in learning to understand and, at the 
proper time, to speak. 

It would be worth while, also, to try 
whether he seems to get any pleasure from 
listening through ear tubes to a phonograph, 
and if he consents to listen for a few minutes 
at a time, it will be of value to provide him 
with daily chances to do so. He may also get 
pleasure from putting his ear against the 
case of the piano when it is being played, and 
in some forms of deafness there is a percep- 
tion of sound by means of the teeth resting 
against the case of the piano or organ. 

Sense Training 
But there are other things that parents can 
do for the little deaf child during the first two 
years of his life. He needs to have his other 
faculties developed in order to supplement 
his imperfect hearing. He needs to be taught 
to get much information through his eyes and 
so needs to be trained to observe and distin- 
guish differences that other children do not 
need to bother about. He also needs to be 
given special opportunities to develop his 
lungs and voice if he does not hear well 
enough to imitate the other children when 
they shout and call to each other. 


The Little Deaf Child 

The child whose hearing is seriously im- 
paired will need to make demands upon his 
other senses that are not required when hear- 
ing is unaffected. He needs to train his pow- 
ers of sight, observation, muscular control, 
recognition of vibration and imitation, to 
perform as many of the functions of hearing 
as is possible. 

Not being able to hear the sounds of 
speech at ordinary distances he must train 
his brain to associate ideas with the series of 
movements of lips and face that accompany 
speech. Not having the natural corrector of 
his own speech, that is the ear, he must de- 
velop a sensitiveness to vibration and a con- 
scious control of muscles whose action is 
usually not under the control of the will. 

The foundation of this super-development 
can be laid even in this early period up to two 
years of age, though the specific training 
must be postponed till greater mental and 
physical maturity has been reached. 

Of course any effort to develop the child 
along the desired lines must take the form of 
play in order to secure the cooperation of the 

The guidance of his play into activities 
that will lead in the direction desired is 


The Little Deaf Child 

rendered easier if he can be supplied with 
some of the more rudimentary of the Montes- 
sori materials and the simple materials of the 
kindergarten, and his use of these purposeful 
playthings can be guided by the mother in 
such a way as to attain the results required 
for his future progress. 

It would be well if the mother could inform 
herself, by a little reading and study, of the 
intended purposes of the various materials 
and the method of use recommended. 

Some of them, as, for example, the two or 
three different sets of Montessori cylinders, 
can be turned over to the baby for his un- 
supervised amusement, and by his natural 
tendency to experiment and investigate, he 
will arrive at the proper use of them and 
derive the benefits they are aimed to give. 
The same is true of some of the flat ''inserts'' 
of the Montessori outfit, but there are other 
articles in this set and in the kindergarten 
materials that can be best used, at least at 
times, under the careful direction of the 
mother teacher. 

Such, for example, are the colored wooden 
beads for stringing and the colored wooden 
blocks for building. These can properly be 
given to the child at times merely as toys, 


The Little Deaf Child 

but they can profitably be used at other times 
as a means to cultivate habits of careful 
observation, imitation and obedience. 

When the child amuses himself by string- 
ing the beads he is guided by his own inven- 
tion and whim, and that is useful in develop- 
ing initiative and muscular control, but if the 
mother will sit down with him and make a 
game of stringing them with him and train 
' him to watch each movement that she makes 
and do exactly the same thing himself, pick- 
ing up a bead as she picks one up and of the 
same color and shape, inserting the string as 
she inserts it, pulling down the bead as she 
pulls it down, and then repeating the opera- 
tion in exact imitation of his mother, she will 
make a beginning of training his power of 
observation, of attention and concentration, 
of imitation and obedience, a high develop- 
ment of which will in later years be of ines- 
timable value to him in overcoming the 
special difficulties that lie ahead of him. 

The same is true of the colored blocks. 
When they are given to him as a toy he uses 
them as his fancy and invention suggest, but 
they can also be used as valuable training 
material for the above-mentioned qualities. 

The mother seats herself at the little 


The Little Deaf Child 

kindergarten table with tlie baby and places 
before each of tbem the same number of 
blocks of the same shape and colors. She 
then takes, we will say, a square, red block 
between her right forefinger and thumb and 
gets the baby to do precisely the same. She 
then deposits the block in a certain position 
before her, and has the baby notice where it 
is and put his own in exactly the same rela- 
tion to his own position at the table. Accu- 
racy of observation and imitation is the 
crux of this exercise. She goes on with some 
simple design of arrangement or building, 
leading the child to follow every motion and 
every position accurately and promptly. 
Simple as the exercise seems, the mother will 
be surprised to find how much patience and 
attention it will require on her part to secure 
the degree of accuracy and perfection that is 
required to make the exercise of value. 

The good old game of ''follow your 
leader" is of value in the training of the 
child to observe, pay somewhat prolonged 
attention, and obey the will of another. It 
can be played as a romping and running 
game, or as a quiet table game with play- 
thing materials. The points to be observed 
being the carefulness and accuracy with 


The Little Deae Child 

which the following* is done. The slightest 
variation should be noticed and corrected, 
since that is the immediate purpose of the 

The sorting out of wooden objects by touch 
alone, the eyes being blindfolded, is an amus- 
ing and useful exercise. It can be extended 
to the recognition of any object. For exam- 
ple, place on the table before the child a fork, 
a spoon, a knife, a coin, a top, etc., etc. 
Blindfold him and place in his hands one of 
the objects, say the top. Then make him pass 
his hands over the collection on the table till 
he again finds the top which in the meantime 
you have placed with the other things. 

Eemember, in dealing with the little child 
of two, or younger, that his physical and 
mental powers are as yet but imperfectly 
developed and that all his playthings and 
exercise objects should be ample in size and 
no exceedingly fine discriminations should be 
asked, or expected of him. Use large blocks, 
large beads, easily distinguished motions and 

I hope I may have said enough on this 
phase of his training to set the mother think- 
ing along the right lines and that she will use 
her own ingenuity and initiative in the manu- 


The Little Deaf Child 

facture and use of materials to aid him in 
developing Ms powers of observation, atten- 
tion, imitation and obedience. Oftentimes 
those devices that are worked out by the indi- 
vidual mother in cooperation with her child 
are of even greater interest and value than 
the ones suggested to her, or supplied from 
a shop. 

There is another reason for the advisabil- 
ity of giving the little deaf child special sense 
training exercises besides the necessity of 
preparing his faculties to do things not 
asked of the hearing child. This is that- 
because of the lack of hearing, he is deprived 
of the greatest single factor in mental devel- 
opment, namely, the intelligence awakening 
power of language. 

Only very rudimentary thought and ex- 
change of thought is possible without a com- 
mand of language, and it is in the acquisition 
and use of language that a child gets the 
greater part of his mental development. 

In order that a deaf child may acquire 
language and gain the mental growth that 
comes through language he must have more 
special and individual attention than is re- 
quired by the hearing child. He will not just 
''pick up" language as the hearing child 


The Little Deaf Child 

does, without conscious effort on his own part 
or that of others. Language must be care- 
fully and clearly presented to his sight, either 
in the form of the movements that accom- 
pany speech, or in the form of writing and 

Therefore, he not only needs special train- 
ing of the tactile, motor-sensory, sensory and 
visual senses to enable him to acquire lan- 
guage and speech through a different channel 
than that of the ordinary child, but he also 
needs a special presentation of the problems 
of language and speech if he is to overcome 
the restrictive effects of deafness. 

We must not only specially cultivate in him 
the powers of visual observation and mem- 
ory, muscular consciousness and conscious 
muscular control and a delicate tactile sense, 
but we must see that language, in all its 
forms, is presented to him so clearly and 
copiously that he will gradually acquire a 

Lip Reading 

I have given precedence and special promi- 
nence to the possession of some power of per- 
ceiving sound because it is, when possible, 
the easiest and most natural means of accom- 
plishing our ends ; but not much more, if any, 


The Little Deae Child 

than a third of the children whose hearing is 
seriously impaired will retain a nsable abil- 
ity to hear the sounds of speech even at the 
shortest range. 

The other two thirds will have to be taught 
without any aid from the ear, and these pre- 
sent our most difficult problem. 

When we are able to work through even a 
very defective sense of hearing we are work- 
ing along the same psychological line that has 
been followed by untold generations and we 
have in our favor all the inherited tendencies 
that have been developed throughout the 
ages. It is the natural, and therefore the 
least resistant line. 

But when we must teach the child to speak 
and to understand spoken language through 
other senses than the accustomed ones, and 
must develop his mind without the aid of the 
greatest of all the senses usually involved in 
that development, that is without the sense of 
hearing, we have presented to us a problem 
that nature has not solved, though she has 
provided the means by which man's ingenu- 
ity has been able to solve it. If left to 
nature, the deaf child never learns to speak 
or to understand speech, and never attains 
the full measure of his capacity for mental 


The Little Deae Child 

Even when the child proves to have re- 
tained a modicum of hearing sufficient to be 
made of some use to him, only a fraction of 
the cases has enough hearing to become inde- 
pendent of the other senses in acquiring 
speech and understanding of speech, and to 
be able, at six or seven years of age, to get 
what is required through the ordinary educa- 
tional facilities provided by the community 
for hearing children. 

The others, while enjoying the advantage 
of some imperfect hearing, must still depend 
largely upon other means of comprehension 
for much of their intercourse, and in the 
acquisition of much of their education. 

With the increasing mental maturity that 
comes with added age we can, as the child 
becomes two and a half, three, and three and 
a half years old, increase the number and 
complexity of the exercises for training his 
brain to associate meaning with sounds and 
also to associate meaning with speech move- 
ments as well as to perform those movements 

A large, low mirror will be a most valuable 
adjunct to the home schoolroom both in the 
auricular and the speech exercises. In all 
probability in order to have the sounds of 


The Little Deae Child 

speech heard as clearly as possible it will be 
necessary to speak so close to tbe cbild's ear 
that he cannot see the face of the speaker. 
Even in the comprehension of spoken lan- 
guage the eye is a great help to the ear, and 
in learning to utter the words it is a neces- 
sity, while the ear, when it can be used,^ is of 
the greatest service, even though there is not 
enough clarity of hearing to learn to speak 
by means of that alone. 

It will be a great help if all these exercises 
can often be given while seated in such a 
position that the child, by looking in the mir- 
ror, can see the face of the speaker clearly at 
the same time that he is listening to what 
sound may reach him. The auricular exer- 
cise then serves the double purpose of a lip 
reading exercise as well, and the very best 
possible lip reading exercise at that. The 
procedure also has the very desirable effect 
of training the brain to use the ear and the 
eye simultaneously, making the one supple- 
ment the other in a perfectly natural way as 
they supplement each other in the case of 
every person, hearing or deaf. 

It is much easier to speak naturally, with- 
out undue exaggeration of speech move- 
ments, when addressing the ear than when 


The Little Deaf Child 

the speaker thinks he is not being heard, but 
is only being seen. Hence the lip-reading 
practice that the child gets by this mirror 
observation of language addressed to his ear 
is more certain to be practice in perfectly 
natural speech. 

In connection with the effort to teach 
speech and correct pronunciation through the 
aid of imperfect hearing, the information 
that the child gets from looking at the speaker 
in the mirror at the same time he listens to 
the sounds is of immense value. Then, when 
the imitation stage is reached and he begins 
to attempt, himself, to utter the words that 
are being used, he easily glances at his own 
lips and quickly learns to observe his de- 
partures from the positions and movements 
of his teacher. Many repetitions and trials 
gradually bring him to the ability to correct 
his visible errors and it is all done in the 
natural manner without the necessity of in- 
troducing an artificial and difficult process. 

It is rare that this use of the mirror in con- 
junction with speech will wholly solve the 
problem, but it will always be of very great 

Care must be taken in locating the mirror, 
the child and the teacher, to secure the best 


The Little Deae Child 

possible ligM on all concerned and the least 
casting of shadows and obstruction of view. 

It is needless to say that, in order to secure 
the greatest skill in interpreting sound there 
must be some exercises that are not given m 
conjunction with the mirror, but placing en- 
tire dependence upon the ear. Also that 
there must be other exercises in which the 
full responsibility is placed upon reading the 
speech by sight, without any help from 
the ear. 

The idea, in the minds of some persons, 
that permitting the use of the imperfect ear 
in connection with lip-reading reduces the 
ability to read the lips, and also that the 
teaching of lip-reading leads to increased 
deafness through reduction in the use of the 
hearing and resultant atrophy, has been ex- 
ploded by actual demonstration. The facts 
in the case are quite the opposite, both m 
children and adults. The bringing into play 
of the eye to help out the imperfect hearing 
leads to a greater participation in social in- 
tercourse and an increased, instead of a de- 
creased, use of the remaining hearing, since 
even the slightest perceptible murmur is of 
the greatest assistance in the interpretation 
of speech by the eye, and the brain easily 


The Little Deaf Child 

acquires the ability to see and listen at the 
same time, and strains to add hearing, even 
though very slight, to the information ob- 
tained by sight. The acquired ability to help 
out the eye with the ear, on the other hand, 
makes lip-reading so much easier that there 
IS much more practice and therefore much 
more rapid progress in facility. 

In addition to these advantages is that of 
a more symmetrical mental development. 
There are areas of the brain that can only be 
reached through the ear. If no sound can 
be conveyed to the brain, then those areas 
remain smooth, white and undeveloped. 
Brain development is wholly visual, muscular 
and tactile, therefore lopsided. Sometimes 
this cannot be helped, but when it is possible 
to reach the brain through even a very im- 
perfect sense of hearing and so develop those 
areas and make them capable of functioning 
it is scarcely necessary to call attention to 
the desirability of doing so. 

I have devoted a great deal of space to the 
matter of possible power of sound perception 
because I consider it of great importance and 
also because it might easily be overlooked, 
but I must not allow the impression to be 
gained that the child with seriously impaired 


The Little Deaf Child 

hearing, though with a slight remaining 
power of short range perception of sound, 
will ever be wholly independent of the com- 
prehension of speech through the eye by 
means of so-called ^ * lip-reading. ' ' 

Even if we are ultimately successful in 
training his imperfect ears to catch language 
by sound, it will perhaps be only at such short 
distances that in much of the intercourse of 
life he will need to understand what is said 
to him by watching the face of the speaker, 
with little or no help from his ears. 

Keeping this in mind we must, therefore, 
always conduct our work with him in such a 
way as to give him all the practice possible 
in learning to associate ideas with the move- 
ments that accompany speech. 

While spoken language has been developed 
through long ages with reference exclusively 
to the ear, it has been discovered that there 
is enough visible movement of the speech 
organs to enable the brain of a deaf person 
to learn to interpret those movements in 
terms of the same ideas that the ear gets 
from the sounds that accompany the motions 
of lips, tongue, cheeks, palate and larynx. 

In order that a child may learn to under- 
stand the meanings of words and sentences 


The Little Deaf Child 

he requires many repetitions of them under 
circumstances when their meaning can be in- 
ferred by the conditions that surround their 
use. He does not learn to know the meaning 
of a phrase the first, or second, or third time 
that it is used to him or in his hearing. Nor 
does he remember it permanently the first 
time when he comes to understand its mean- 
ing. It requires many repetitions to fix it in 
Jiis memory for good and all. He also re- 
quires to hear it more distinctly while he is 
learning its meaning than is necessary after 
it has become familiar to him. 

Furthermore, if he hears correct language 
he learns to understand, and later to use, cor- 
rect language, while if he hears incorrect lan- 
guage he becomes familiar with what is 

Exactly the same things hold true of the 
deaf child who is learning to interpret the 
movements that accompany speech as are 
true of the hearing child learning to interpret 
the sounds of speech. 

But the deaf child has the more difficult 
task for several reasons. To begin with, 
since spoken language has been made to fit 
the ear it is not as easy to distinguish be- 
tween the speech movements of di:fferent 


The Little Deaf Child 

sounds as it is between the sounds themselves 
that result from the movements. To the ear 
it does not matter whether the producing 
actions are similar if the sounds are suffi- 
ciently different to be readily distinguished. 

Unfortunately the appearance of the posi- 
tions that result in widely differing sounds 
are often closely similar. Nevertheless it has 
been amply demonstrated that, given long 
practice in observing minute differences and 
a considerable knowledge of a language by 
means of which the proper one of two possi- 
bilities can be selected, a deaf person can 
acquire such skill in interpreting spoken lan- 
guage by merely seeing the face of the 
speaker and without hearing a sound, that it 
is perfectly accurate to call it '/hearing by 

While, as I have said, it is not possible to 
see speech as clearly as one can hear it, the 
brain of a deaf person can be trained to sup- 
ply the things unseen by a process of infer- 
ence from the things seen through a knowl- 
edge of what must also have been there in 
addition to the things seen. It is really a 
process of scientific guessing unconsciously 
guided by fixed principles. 

For a deaf person to acquire the highest 


The Little Deaf Child 

skill of which he, individually, is capable, de- 
mands an early start in life and a vast 
amount of practice. Therefore it is very de- 
sirable that he may begin his practice as 
young as possible, and the moment there is 
any suspicion of impaired hearing we should 
modify our intercourse with the child along 
the lines indicated by the likelihood that he 
will have to depend largely upon his eyes in 
the comprehension of what is said to him. 

The first thing to be arranged is that he 
shall see the words when they are spoken, 
and see them well. That means that there 
must be a good light on the face of the 
speaker and not in the eyes of the child. The 
speaker needs to be with his face to the light 
and the child with his back to it. 

Unlike the ear, which perceives vibration 
without a conscious directing toward its 
source, the eye cannot perceive a thing un- 
less it is consciously directed toward it and 
focussed upon the object. 

We can talk to a hearing child when he is 
not looking at us, but we cannot communicate 
with a deaf child when his eyes are not upon 
our lips. 

So our first task is to help the little deaf 
child to watch our lips as continuously as 


The Little Deaf Child 

possible. He is not going, to do this spon- 
taneously. He mnst be led to discover that 
he gets some satisfaction from seeing our 
faces when we speak to him, and we must in- 
duce him to form the habit of always looking 
at our lips when he wants to get information 
from us. 

A little child's glance is like a butterfly flit- 
ting swiftly from one spot to another and 
never remaining long on anything. To speak 
to him when his eyes are not focused on our 
lips is useless, therefore we, too, have a habit 
to form, the habit of keeping our eyes on his 
and reserving our speech till his glance rests 
upon our faces. 

We shall have to direct his attention to our 
lips many times as we speak his name and 
that of his father and mother and brothers 
and sisters before his little mind retains the 
impression caused by the sequences of speech 
movements that accompany those names and 
he learns to recognize them when we speak 
them. The names will have to be spoken in 
his clear sight very often and always when 
there can be no question as to what the word 
means, before he will have fixed them in his 
memory as always referring to the same per- 
son. But when he has learned to recognize 


The Little Deaf Child 

the spoken name of himself when he sees it, 
he has taken the first great step toward com- 
prehension of spoken language by means of 
sight, and has learned that there is something 
to be gained by watching the lips of a speaker. 

His own name and the words '^father'' and 

mother'' are an excellent trio to begin with. 
Do not use ^^mama'' and **papa," because 
these two words are almost impossible to dis- 
tinguish between by sight alone, though their 
sounds are so different. It will also be found 
that mother'' and ''brother" are not easy 
to tell apart, so his brother's name would best 
be used instead of the word brother. 

The group of letters, p, b, m, are similar in 
appearance upon the lips, as will readily be 
discovered if you will look at yourself in the 
glass when you say pa, ma, and ba. They all 
start with shut lips that open for the vowel. 

The same thing is true of the letters t, d, 
and n, as they all are formed by placing the 
tip of the tongue against the roof of the 
mouth just back of the front upper teeth. 
Therefore the words tea, Dee and knee cannot 
be distinguished by sight, though in a sen- 
tence it probably would not be difficult to 
know by the requirements of the sense which 
one was spoken. 


The Little Deaf Child 

There are many other unexpected and puz- 
zling similarities in the appearance of sounds 
that are widely different in their appeal to 
the ear, and if a word that yon know is famil- 
iar is not recognized, when spoken, it is quite 
possibly due to some unsuspected variation 
between its audibility and visibility. 

I will take this matter up a little more fully 
later on, but what I have already said will 
serve to direct the thoughts of the reader to 
the pitfalls that beset the way of the lip- 
reader, young or old. 

There is another fundamental matter that 
must be emphasized at once in connection 
with this question of training a deaf child to 
interpret spoken language by means of sight. 

Let us ask ourselves what object we have 
in this effort to train the brain of the child 
to interpret speech by the eye without hear- 
ing the sounds. 

There can be but one answer, namely that 
we wish to enable him to understand what is 
said to him by any person who may have oc- 
casion to speak to him, in spite of the fact 
that he cannot hear the words. 

In order to perform any such mental feat 
he must have a vast amount of practice. 

Suppose we wished to train the brain of a 


The Little Deaf Child 

hearing cMld to understand what was said to 
him in French. We would see that he heard 
French spoken very often and very well. We 
would not practice him in listening to Greek 
if we wished him to learn to understand 

Avoid Exaggeration of Speech 

Now if we wish the deaf child to learn to 
understand what people say to him we must 
give him an immense amount of practice in 
seeing people speak and the people who are 
giving him practice must speak as the other 
people will speak with whom he later wishes 
to converse. 

It is an invariable tendency of every per- 
son who attempts to speak to a child known 
to be deaf to grossly exaggerate the move- 
ments of speech in a mistaken idea of making 
it easier for him to understand. This exag- 
gerated speech is as unlike the natural speech 
that he will meet in the street, shop and gen- 
eral social intercourse, as Greek is unlike 
French, and his practice in it will do him just 
as much good in training him to understand 
natural speech as practice in hearing Greek 


The Little Deaf Child 

would do Mm in learning to understand 

Put in this way it is easy to see the ab- 
surdity of such a procedure, but that is the 
way that hundreds of people, teachers and 
friends and parents, speak to deaf children 
in all parts of the world. 

As a matter of fact, long experience has 
proved that it is just as easy for a child to 
learn to understand natural speech as it is 
to learn to understand the awful mouthing 
that is so frequently offered to him as speech. 

Such exaggerated mouthing is not only un- 
necessary, but it also defeats utterly the pur- 
pose of all the labor and time that is being 
expended on the training of the child to asso- 
ciate ideas with movements instead of sounds. 

Everyone that has anything to do with a 
deaf child, whether it be in the home or in the 
school or in the social world, should swear 
allegiance to the motto, *^Be Natural'' and 
should carefully follow this motto in speech, 
in gesture, in action and in general treatment 
of the child. The more that we depart from 
naturalness in any phase of our association 
with the deaf child, the more he in turn will 
depart from naturalness in his growth, de- 
velopment, and character. 


The Little Deaf Child 

Avoid Gestures 
There are other things to be kept in mind 
in our efforts to train the deaf child to *^read 
our lips.'' One of them is that the eye can 
look at only one thing at a time. If we want 
him to see our lips clearly we must not dis- 
tract his attention by other simultaneous 
movements of our arms and hands in gestures 
and gestural signs accompanying speech. It 
is easier to see the wide movements of the 
arms and hands than the smaller movements 
of speech and the child will ignore the speech 
and only watch the hands if he has the choice. 
Throughout all his educational period he will 
take the line of least resistance, just as you 
yourself did when you were young, and per- 
haps do to this very day. 

Furthermore the eye is quickly wearied by 
the necessity of constant and rapid changes 
in distance and the resultant need for con- 
stantly changing the focus. This means that 
in speaking to a deaf child we should keep 
our heads still; not bob them up or down, or 
from side to side, or move about while talk- 
ing to him. Cultivate repose in manner and 
quiet utterance unaccompanied by wind- 
milling gesture and meaningless movements 
of the head. 


The Little Deaf Child 

See that tlie ligM is good and that it comes 
from behind the child and falls on the face of 
the speaker. Speak naturally, though not 
rapidly. Keep your head, hands and body 

This matter of gradually training the child 
to use his eyes in the understanding of speech 
should be kept unceasingly in mind from the 
moment that impairment of hearing is sus- 
pected, whether the discovery is made before 
he is a year old, or long after. The more 
promptly that your intercourse with the child 
is modified in such a way as to aid him in the 
acquisition of ability to interpret the signifi- 
cance of speech movements the more fully 
will he eventually attain the maximum skill 
of which he is capable. 

It will take some time for you yourself to 
form the habit of constantly watching his 
eyes when you are communicating with him, 
and for him to form the habit of watching 
your lips whenever he is trying to get infor- 
mation from you, or you are trying to give it 
to him. But unremitting effort and never 
failing patience will ultimately bring a worth 
while reward. 

I cannot lay too much stress upon the ad- 
vantage it will be to the child if all the per- 


The Little Deaf Child 

sons with whom he associates will carefully 
cultivate the habit of always watching his 
eyes, and each time his gaze is fixed upon 
their faces, of saying to him whatever words 
or sentences they think will express the idea 
that is in his mind at the moment. This habit 
of speaking to him only when he is looking at 
the face of the speaker, and of always speak- 
ing to him at such times, is a hard habit to 
form, but a most helpful one. 

The family can easily agree upon a consid- 
erable vocabulary of simple, common, useful 
words that are to be used with the child at 
every possible opportunity. It would be a 
good thing to have a list hung up somewhere 
in the house of the words and phrases agreed 
upon for the month. 

Such words as his own name and those of 
his brothers, sisters, uncles and aunts. The 
words father, mother, baby, doll, pussy, dog, 
horse, good boy, naughty, hat, cap, hot, cold, 
heavy, light, hard, soft, rough, smooth, coat, 
shoes, stockings, come, go, fast, slow, up, 
down, mild, bread, sugar, salt, butter, dish, 
saucer, cup, knife, fork, spoon, sorry, happy, 
broken, never mind, all right, after awhile, 
very soon, love mother (with a hug) mother 
loves _ (with a hug), where is 


The Little Deae Child 

tie your shoe, bring the 

doll, etc., etc. 

Little by little, as lie sees these words 
spoken day after day, when the ideas they 
represent are in his mind, he will come to 
associate the face movements that he sees 
accompany them when spoken with the 
thoughts they express in just the same way 
that the hearing child gradually comes to as- 
sociate the same ideas with the sound of the 

The constant use of the word *^come in- 
stead of a beckoning gesture, the word 

father,'' instead of some gestural sign that 
you, or the child, may have invented to repre- 
sent his father, saying ^^roU the ball to 
mother'' instead of going through the motion 
of doing so, the daily and hourly use of these 
and other words and phrases accompanied by 
a gentle insistence that he look at you when 
you say them, will by and by bring to him the 
unconscious habit of observing the lips of 
those around him and the ability to compre- 
hend the meaning of many things that are 
said. This lip-reading vocabulary will grow 
slowly but surely as he himself matures and 
he will become a lip-reader without knowing 
how he acquired the art. 


The Little Deaf Child 

If, as often happens, you have formed the 
habit of conrninnicating with the little deaf 
child wholly by gesture, before you had this 
matter of lip-reading presented to you, there 
will be the added difficulty of breaking up the 
undesirable habit already formed, but it can 
be done, and, if you want the child to depart 
as little as possible from normality, it must 
be done. ^*As the twig is bent, the tree is 
inclined'' and if you want him to grow up 
with spoken language as his natural medium 
of thought and communication instead of the 
language of gestural signs, you must begin 
his training early along that line. It re- 
quires strength of character on the part of 
parents and friends to refrain from the often 
easy means of a gesture or sign and use the 
more difficult and slower medium of speech, 
but, the desired goal can only be reached in 
that way and in after years all concerned 
will be profoundly grateful that there was 
the strength of character and foresight to 
insist upon it. 

Diet and Training 
Careful attention must be paid, also, to his 
physical condition. He must go to bed early; 
sleep in a room with plenty of fresh air; have 
a properly balanced diet with more green 


The Little Deae Child 

vegetables and fresh frnit and milk than 
meat, no pastry and very little candy and 
that only immediately after meals. He must 
have regularity in his stools which can be as- 
sured by frequent prunes and figs. A quiet 
twenty minutes should follow each meal. He 
should drink water freely between meals. 

Important as bodily condition is in the hf e 
of any child, it is particularly important to a 
deaf child for demands will be made upon his 
physical powers, especially upon his nervous 
system, that exceed the demands usually 
made upon the hearing child. He needs, 
therefore, even more than other children, to 
be in the pink of physical and nervous 

Teach him to eat all vegetables and fruits, 
to drink milk and to like soft boiled and 
poached eggs. I use the word teach advisedly 
for I have seen so much of the foolish whims 
and notions concerning food that parents 
have allowed to develop in their children, 
yielding to the unwise and usually momen- 
tary wishes of the little one. Provide meals 
at regular hours, properly spaced. Very 
simple, wholesome food. Nothing between 
meals unless it be a slice of bread and butter 
or ripe fruit, or a glass of milk. 


The Little Deaf Child 

Do Not ''Spoil'' the Deaf Child 
He must be trained to prompt obedience 
and a proper regard for the rights of others. 
There is a natural tendency to spoil' ' a 
deaf child in an effort to make up to him for 
his misfortune. This is a mistake, for, by 
very reason of his handicap he must always, 
throughout his entire life, be a little better 
than the other fellow in order to compete with 
his hearing companions. He must be a little 
more polite, a little more obedient, a little 
more considerate, a little more industrious, a 
little more observant and a little more effi- 
cient, or an employer will choose a hearing 
man instead of taking, or keeping, him. The 
friends that he would like to have will be 
hard to get unless he comes up to this higher 
standard. All this should be kept in mind 
during the formative years of his childhood 
by those who are responsible for his training. 

There is a strong, and a not unnatural 
tendency to maintain an attitude toward the 
deaf child that differs from that maintained 
by sensible mothers toward their other chil- 
dren. They often set up a different standard 
of conduct and of obligation for the afflicted 
child. His brothers and sisters are taught to 
always defer to his wishes; even to the extent 


The Little Deaf Child 

of yielding to improper and selfish demands 
on his part, and conceding that they have no 
rights where he is concerned. He is not re- 
quired to perform the little duties demanded 
of the other children. He is given privileges 
which the others do not, and which no one of 
them, including himself, should enjoy. He 
grows tyrannical, domineering, and selfish. 
The mother says: **Poor little chap; he has 
trouble enough, we must do all in our power 
to make up to him for what he misses by 
reason of his deafness." This is, however, a 
short-sighted, and really a cruel policy. It 
lays up much misery for his future, and in 
the end proves a serious handicap to one who 
needs to have as few additional difficulties as 
possible. Though it may seem hard-hearted, 
it is really kinder to put him on the same 
basis as any other child. Make him do every- 
thing possible for himself. Insist upon his 
being independent; dressing himself as soon 
as he is able, lacing his own shoes, and per- 
forming all the little self-help acts that the 
wise mother demands of all her children. 
Make no distinction in the treatment accorded 
him. Ask the same services, reward right 
actions and punish wrongdoing as impartially 
as if he was not deaf, only being sure that he 


The Little Deaf Child 

clearly connects the punishment with the 
wrong act. This, in the case of a deaf child, 
requires a little more care than with a hear- 
ing child. Train him to be thoughtful for the 
comfort of others, and respectful of their 
rights, just as you insist that the others ob- 
serve his rights. He cannot be argued with, 
object lessons and example must be the means 
of teaching him manners and morals. 

He should have constant opportunities to 
play with other children of his own age, and 
special attention should be given to see that 
he is taught the simple rules of the games so 
he can play them properly. He should be 
made to give in to others and to yield to each 
his proper rights. 

He should have games to develop his lung 
power, such as blowing soap bubbles, feather 
foot ball, which consists in standing at one 
end of a sheet held about as high as his mouth 
while some one stands at the other end and 
each tries to blow a feather over the opposite 
end of the sheet; egg football in which an 
empty egg-shell is used for a ball and two 
saltcellars at each end of a table form the 
goals through which the egg-shells must be 
blown; hide-and-seek, where the hider calls 
when he is ready. 


The Little Deaf Child 

Speech Teaching in Due Time 
It is perfectly natural that the uppermost 
thought in the mind of a mother is the de- 
sire to have her little one begin to speak. I 
shaH take up that matter in due time, but 
unless the child has a considerable ability to 
hear and responds to the early tests of hear- 
ing readily by trying to imitate the sounds 
that are made to him, it is unwise to put any 
stress at present upon the matter of his 
speech and better to devote every effort to 
the teaching of an understanding of some 
things spoken to him and to the awakening of 
observation and attention. In doing this we 
are only following the order of nature in the 
regular progress of all hearing children. The 
hearing child spends the first two years of his 
life in listening and observing things about 
him with little, or no attempt to express him- 
self in spoken words. Understanding must, 
of necessity, come before speaking. During 
his first two years of life the hearing child 
learns to understand much of what is said to 
him though he could not possibly speak the 
things he understands when spoken to him. 

Impairment of hearing does not shorten 
this period of listening. On the contrary, it 
lengthens it. The mother of a little deaf child 


The Little Deaf Child 

must possess lier soul in patience with regard 
to this matter of speech, for the ear is na- 
ture's teacher of speech, and when that organ 
is defective other and artificial means of 
teaching speech must be found and the use of 
these requires a considerable development on 
the part of the child, and special knowledge 
and experience on the part of the teacher that 
is not usually possessed by the mother. 

In course of time a beginning can be made 
in the work of teaching even the totally deaf 
child to speak and I will give all the assist- 
ance I can to the untrained mother, but that 
should not be attempted yet. 



The Third Year of Life 

Testing the Sight 

WITH the beginning of the third year 
most children have attained enough 
maturity and development to permit of 
making tests and giving educational exer- 
cises that were not possible earlier. 

An attempt might now be made to roughly 
test the sight and make sure that there are 
no defects serious enough to prevent the 
reading of lips at distances of six to ten feet. 

Dr. A. B. Reese, an eye specialist in New 
York, has very kindly suggested a modifica- 
tion of a standard test that is used with 
adults who do not know how to read. This 
is based upon the letter E printed in various 
sizes and in four positions. In testing an 
adult the patient is asked to indicate by a 
wave of his hand whether the open side of the 
E is toward the right, the left, upward, or 
downward, but Dr. Reese suggests that, in 
the case of so little a child, it might be better 


The Little Deaf Child 

if he were supplied with a letter E cut out of 
cardboard and taught to place his letter in 
the same position as that which was shown 
him at a distance. 

If at a distance of twenty feet the child re- 
quired the testing letter E to be nine centi- 
meters high and nine centimeters wide in 
order that he might be sure which way it was 
placed, then he would have one tenth of nor- 
mal vision. 

If at the same distance he could distinguish 
the position of the E when it was only nine 
tenths of a centimeter high and nine tenths 
of a centimeter wide, then he would have nor- 
mal vision. 

For our purposes it will be sufficient if we 
have two sizes of the E, one of nine centi- 
meters square, and one of .9 (nine tenths) of 
a centimeter square. 

Of the largest size one should be made for 
the child to hold in his hand. 

The letters here printed are of the proper 
sizes and can be copied exactly by cutting 
similar letters out of black cardboard. 

With so little a child the tests must be 
presented to him as a game that he will like 
to play. In order to show him how the game 
is to be played, his elder brother, sister, or 


The Little Deaf Child 


If the child can distinguish this letter clearly in all posi- 
tions at a distance of twenty feet he has normal vision. 

If it is necessary to bring it to ten feet he has one half 
of normal vision. 

If the child cannot distinguish this letter clearly at more 
than twenty feet he has not more than one tenth of normal 


The Little Deaf Child 

hearing playmate, can first play the game 
while he looks on. "When he has watched the 
proceedings for a very little while he will be 
quite ready to play the game himself. 

On two pieces of white cardboard exactly 
six inches square paste the two different sized 
letters E in such a way that each letter is ex- 
actly in the center of each card, its edges 
equally distant from the edges of the card so 
that you can hold the card any side up and 
the only way anyone can know which way you 
are holding it is by the position of the E. 

With the children seated twenty feet away, 
hold up the card on which is pasted the 
largest E and have the hearing child who is 
playing the game put his big E in the same 
position as the E on the card. Then, with the 
card hidden from the sight of the children, 
change its position and again hold it up to 
view, asking the hearing child to place his E 
in the new position now occupied by the E on 
the card. Change the position of the E sev- 
eral times till the little deaf child seems to 
have at least partly understood what you 
wish, and then let him take the big E and put 
it in the position he sees on the distant card. 
When he is able to arrange his letter cor- 
rectly in imitation of the position as he sees 


The Little Deae Child 

it on the card, you can repeat the same 
process with the smaller size. 

You probably will not be able to keep his 
attention on the game very long but you can 
return to it another day and in course of time 
you will be able to determine whether he is 
able to see even the smallest letter distinctly 
at twenty feet. He will enjoy it if you will 
sometimes change places with him and let 
him show the cards and you arrange the let- 
ter. He will also be amused if you occa- 
sionally make a mistake and his noticing it 
will show that he is seeing and observing. 

If you find he is not able to clearly see the 
smallest B at twenty feet you can bring the 
card to ten feet. To be able to see the 
smallest E at ten feet would indicate one half 
of normal vision, but that is more than 
enough for the purposes of lip-reading at 
ordinary social distances. In fact if it was 
necessary to bring the smallest E to within 
five feet of his eyes in order to have him see 
its position clearly, he would still see suffi- 
ciently well to learn to read the lips without 
glasses, but as soon as an oculist thought he 
was old enough to be properly examined and 
fitted with glasses it would be well to have 
the matter attended to. 


The Little Deaf Child 

Further Sense Training 
The cultivation of his muscular sense and 
his sense of sight and touch can be carried 
further now that he is older. 

The games of imitation can be extended to 
exercises that cultivate somewhat finer mus- 
cular control by piling blocks, balancing them 
on thin bits of wood and by adjustment of 
toys. In time it will be possible to extend 
this observation and imitation to positions of 
the lips by sitting in front of a big mirror and 
playing the game of ^'follow your leader'' by 
leading the child to place his lips in the vary- 
ing positions taken, and held by the mother. 
In this game care should be taken not to make 
extreme faces or exaggerated positions, for 
this exercise will eventually have a real bear- 
ing upon speech. 

The discrimination between weights, that 
is pairing up two similar objects of the same 
weight from a lot of them that look alike but 
weigh differently is a valuable one for the 
little deaf child, also sorting by texture 
through the sense of touch alone, the eyes 
being blindfolded. Material for this texture 
game can easily be manufactured at home 
from duplicate bits of cloth of different tex- 
tures varying from fine muslin and silk to 


The Little Deaf Child 

coarse burlap and canvas. Also with pairs 
of similar cords of different sizes and twists. 
A set of duplicate squares of sandpaper of 
di:fferent coarseness make a useful test of 
tactile ability. 

For weights one can buy some of the small 
rubber balls sold in any toy shop and force 
into pairs of them the same number of bird 
shot. The balls will look alike, but weigh 

Exercises for the lungs, such as blowing 
soap bubbles, paper windmills, feathers along 
a sheet, the egg football as described below, 
shouting games should all be continued. 

The game of '*Egg Football" is an amus- 
ing and useful exercise for development of 
the lungs. 

**Blow" an egg, that is make a small hole 
in each end of the shell and blow out the con- 
tents so as to leave the egg practically whole 
but empty. 

Clear the dining-room table and set two 
salt shakers about six inches apart at each 
end as the goals for your game of egg foot- 

The more children that are available for 
the game the more fun it is. Station one side, 
or ^Heam'^ at each end and along the sides. 


The Little Deaf Child 

Place the empty egg-shell in the center of the 
table. At a signal the game begins which 
consists in blowing the egg through the goals. 
Perhaps it resembles hockey more than it 
does football as the ball (the egg) is driven 
by the breath between the goal posts and not 
over a bar. 

Some simple voice exercises can be added, 
such as saying '*Ah'' as long as possible, and 
again as many times as possible with one 
breath. It will serve to induce him to try if 
he can say **Ah'' with one breath and also 
how many times he can say **Ah'' without 
taking breath. 

You can teach him to inhale as deeply as 
possible and then exhale slowly. Also to ac- 
company this inhalation and exhalation with 
slow movements of the arms. Holding them 
straight out in front of him to begin with and 
slowly moving them backward as he inhales 
and letting them slowly drop as he exhales. 
Then inhaling quickly through the mouth as 
the arms fly back and saying *'Ah'' as the 
arms slowly drop to the side, prolonging it as 
much as possible. 

These exercises have a bearing upon his 
speaking later on. 


The Little Deae Child 

The training in distinguishing different 
vibrations can go further now. While he 
holds a guitar, or a zither, resting on the 
palms of his hands, his eyes being shut, or 
blindfolded, pluck a bass string. Then let 
him find the vibrating string when he opens 
his eyes. Eepeat the process and pluck a 
string of high note and again let him find it. 
Little by little he will learn to make finer and 
finer distinctions and he will like the game, 
though he probably will not care to play it 
long at a time. The same thing can be done 
with the piano, or an organ. 

The next step is to place his little hand 
upon his mother's chest while she makes as 
low a tone as she can, then makes as high a 
tone as she can, and he learns to indicate, 
either by some gesture, or by, if he will, his 
own voice that the tones feel different. Do 
not let him clutch his own throat or chest. It 
it not necessary. He can feel vibration in his 
own body without the aid of his hands and it 
is better that he should. 

More Lip-Eeading 
The exercises in lip-reading can also be 
further elaborated now, and such sentences 
included as, Shut your eyes. Open your 


The Little Deaf Child 

mouth. Shut the book. Open the book. Shut 
the door. Open the door. Shut the box. 
Open the drawer. Laugh. Cry. Shout (Ah). 
Whisper (Ah, without voice). Laugh loudly. 
Laugh softly. Cry loudly. Cry softly. Point 
to the window. Point to the door. Point to 
the table. Point to the floor. Clap your 
hands. Fold your arms. Eun. Walk. Skip. 
Jump. Hop. Eun slowly. Walk fast. Walk 
slowly. Eun fast. Hop and jump. Hop and 
skip. Skip and jump. Hide the thimble. 
Find the thimble. Hide the pencil. Find the 
pencil. Hide the brush. Find the brush. 

If it has been found that the child has some, 
even the slightest power of perceiving the 
tones of the voice, then these exercises can be 
used for both auricular training and lip- 
reading. In using them for auricular train- 
ing they should be performed part of the time 
before the mirror and part of the time with- 
out the mirror. 

Continue to show him picture books and 
talk with him about them with lips close to 
his ear. Part of the time while seated before 
the mirror with the child in your lap. 

Further Tests of Hearing 
If in your tests for possible small degrees 
of hearing you have found it necessary to get 


The Little Deae Child 

very close to Ms ear, and even then have not 
succeeded in getting very definite and rehable 
responses, lie is now old enough to be taught 
a set of responses that can be used to deter- 
mine whether he really does hear, and to a 
certain extent, how much and what he hears. 

We will begin with something we know he 
does perceive. When his back is turned to 
you, touch him lightly on the shoulder once. 
Then teach him to touch you— once— . Touch 
him twice in quick succession and teach him 
to touch you— twice— , in the same way. 
Then touch him three times in rapid succes- 
sion and get him to touch you in his turn, 
three times. In a short time he will grasp 
the rules of the game and he will respond to 
your touches by touching you as many times 
as you touched him. You have now given him 
the idea that when you do something, he is to 
do something the same number of times. 
Touch him once, twice, three times, in vary- 
ing order, till he never fails to respond with 
the same number. 

Now place your lips within an inch or two 
of his ear and say ^^Ah" loudly, twice, thus 
<<Ah— Ah.'' If he happens to respond by 
making some sound it will be very nice, but 
probably he will not. If he does not, then 


The Little Deaf Child 

get him to touch you twice, as he did when 
you had touched him. Then say ''Ah'' once 
and have him touch you once. Then say 
''Ah'' three times and have him touch you 
three times. Continue this process till you 
are sure he has the idea that you wish him 
to touch you as many times as you make the 
sound, or until you are convinced that he does 
not hear the sounds you are making. You 
may have to put your lips actually in contact 
with his ear and in that case he might easily 
merely feel the mechanical vibration without 
actually hearing, but it is desirable to do this 
in order to fix in his mind the idea that you 
wish him to make a varied response accord- 
ing to the varied impression which he re- 

If he can be induced to make a sound as 
many times as you make a sound there should 
be a careful avoidance of any attempt to cor- 
rect his sound and make it like the one you 
uttered, for that would confuse his mind as 
to your present object. All we want at the 
moment is to know whether the effect of the 
sound we have uttered has reached his brain. 
For the present we do not need to know with 
what degree of accuracy it reached him. Do 
not forget that the effect of the sound upon 


The Little Deae Child 

the ear diminislies with enormous rapidity as 
the distance from the ear increases. 

In testing a child who is really totally deaf, 
without any power of sound perception even 
at actual contact with the ear, he will usually 
endeavor to ''play the game" and make a 
sound each time he thinks you made one and 
will vary the number as he thinks will satisfy 
you. It then becomes a case of pitting your 
wits against his and so varying the number of 
times the sound is made that he cannot guess 
even 75% right, and keeping a record for a 
sufficiently long time to eliminate the possi- 
bility that he is guessing and not hearing. 
Make a mark above a line each time he gets 
it right and below the line when he is wrong 
and do this day after day until you are cer- 
tain that the times he gets it right are due to 
actual hearing of the sound you made. 

If you find that the range is so short that 
you cannot make the sound more than three 
or four inches from his ear, you will have to 
interpose between your mouth and his ear a 
sheet of paper in order to prevent him from 
feeling the puff of breath against his cheek 
when you speak and judging from their num- 
ber rather than from hearing. 


The Little Deaf Child 

In conducting these tests it is necessary 
to remember that the success of the child 
in hearing the sounds depends upon his 
LISTENING, and that listening is a mental 
process, not a physical. It means paying 
conscious attention, and that means effort. 
We all weary quickly from mental effort and 
a little child wearies much more quickly than 
older persons. When he ceases to listen he 
becomes psychologically deaf and the effect 
is the same as if he was physically deaf. His 
little mind is like an electric battery, it ' ' runs 
down.'' The battery rings the bell well for 
a time, but if we press the button too long the 
ringing becomes fainter and fainter till it dies 
away entirely. But if you remove your finger 
from the button and allow the battery to rest 
a few minutes, it recovers and when you press 
the button again the bell rings once more. 
This polarization" of the battery is well 
understood, and perhaps the mental fatigue 
that results in loss of attention and listening 
power may come from some similar chemical 
reaction in the brain, and the effect of rest in 
restoring the power of attention may be like 
the passing off of polarization in the battery. 

Whatever the explanation may be, it is a 
fact that must be recognized, that the child 


The Little Deaf Child 

will not be able to carry on'' in the tests 
more than five or six minntes at a time with- 
out a lowering of his listening efficiency that 
will give the same effect as increased deaf- 
ness. There should, therefore, be frequent 
intervals of rest and diversion to enable him 
to recover his keenness of listening. 

Then, too, there is the matter of the divi- 
sion of his attention. When one is very deaf 
it requires great concentration of attention 
to perceive the imperfect sounds that sift 
through the defective mechanism. In the 
case of a little deaf child it is an unaccus- 
tomed effort and the things he is watching 
for are unfamiliar and so less easily recog- 
nized. Everything unites to require his 
most concentrated attention. If there are 
many interesting things going on all around 
him that he wants to watch, or if anything 
distracts his attention from the thing you 
wish him to do, the effect is to lower his 
listening power and the result is the same as 
increased deafness. It stands to reason that 
the tests should be carried out in a quiet room 
where as few disturbing elements are present 
as is possible. Sometimes I have found it a 
good plan to make a sort of blindfold game 
of it and either to hold my hand over his eyes 


The Little Deaf Child 

while making the sounds, or to tie a handker- 
chief over them for a few minutes. In other 
cases this, in itself, seems to distract atten- 
tion and has not been of value. 

Sometimes he is not interested and **just 
won't listen," or his little mind is so full of 
other thoughts that he has no attention left 
for what you are trying to do with him. 
Then, even if he had normal hearing, he 
would be psychologically deaf' and the re- 
sults would be the same as if he were actually 

This matter of psychological deafness" is 
one very familiar to us all, for we are all 
sometimes * ^ psychologically deaf. ' ' Perhaps 
you are accustomed to work in a room with a 
clock that chimes the hours and the quarters. 
How many times do you hear that clock as it 
strikes or chimes? Are there not many occa- 
sions when you have not heard it for an hour 
or more, though you know it must have 
chimed and struck several times ? How much 
of what goes on iii the noisy street outside 
your window are you aware of while you are 
at work? 

It is necessary to keep all these things in 
mind in our efforts to arrive at an accurate 
knowledge of the power of sound perception 

The Little Deae Child 

possessed by a little child, and it is not diffi- 
cult to understand why a satisfactory result 
cannot be obtained by even a comparatively 
leisurely examination in the consulting room 
of a specialist. 

If we have proved to our satisfaction that 
the child can hear enough to tell how many 
times a sound is made near his ear, our next 
problem is to find out what sounds of speech 
he can hear, and at what distances, and with 
what loudness they must be uttered. 

What is Our Principal Interest in 

But before we discuss a method of reaching 
a reliable conclusion with regard to this, let 
us consider what is our real object in all this 
labor, because there may be more than one 
way of conducting the investigation, and it 
will be wiser to choose that procedure that 
will not only tell us how much and what the 
child can hear, but also start him along the 
proper road to the necessary mental develop- 
ment and normal attitude toward sounds that 
will enable him to understand spoken lan- 
guage when he hears it. 

Our primary use for hearing is to under- 
stand what is said to us, but in order to 


The Little Deaf Child 

understand we need something more than 
perfect hearing. We need to acquire an un- 
derstanding of the meaning of the groups of 
sounds that are called words and sentences. 

The object of all our efforts on behalf of 
the little deaf child is to put him into com- 
munication with the people around him. If 
by touching the deaf child with a magic wand 
we could restore to him perfect hearing 
power he would not at the same moment re- 
ceive the power to comprehend what was said 
to him, for, not having heard up to this time, 
for, let us say, the first three years of his life, 
he has not acquired a knowldege of his native 

If you, who have entirely normal hearing, 
were suddenly picked up by some magical 
force and dropped down in central Africa 
among a people whose language you had 
never heard, you would be unable to under- 
stand what was said to you and could not 
make them understand your speech. 

For the moment you would be like a deaf 
and dumb man and would have to resort to 
gestural signs to supply your immediate 
needs. But if you stayed among those Afri- 
cans for a time and listened carefully to their 
speech under conditions when you could in- 


The Little Deaf Child 

fer from the situation what was the general 
subject they were speaking of, you would 
gradually come to understand what they said 
and he able to express your thoughts in their 
language. But the process by which you ac- 
complished this would be a mental one and 
not one of developing your hearing power. 
Your perception of sound would be no better 
after you had learned the language than it 
was when you first arrived, but your brain 
would have learned to associate meaning with 
the sounds of their speech that at first were 
without meaning to you. 

Now in dealing with the deaf child in this 
matter of auricular examination and training 
we may proceed on the supposition that we 
are going to develop in him a power of per- 
ceiving sound which he does not at the 
moment possess, or we can consider that he 
already has some power of hearing, but so 
limited, in amount and range, that he has 
never found it of any use to him in the acqui- 
sition of speech and the understanding of 
spoken words. 

If we set out to attempt to create a power 
of hearing in the child that he does not have 
when we begin our efforts, our method of pro- 
cedure will be quite different from that which 


The Little Deae Child 

we would adopt if we were aiming to make of 
use to him a slight power of sound perception 
that he already has and has had since birth. 

In more than thirty-eight years of close 
association with the education of deaf chil- 
dren I have been forced to the conclusion that 
but very little can be accomplished in the line 
of creating a power of perceiving sound that 
the child does not possess by nature. But I 
have also fully demonstrated by many suc- 
cessful accomplishments, that a very great 
deal can be accomplished along the line of 
training the mind of the very deaf child to 
associate ideas with the limited and imperfect 
sounds that can be conveyed to his brain by 
proper presentation to his imperfect hearing 

Auricular Training for Comprehension 
of Language 

Therefore I strongly advocate that all ef- 
fort be concentrated upon teaching the child 
to listen to sounds for the purpose of getting 
ideas and not merely for the purpose of per- 
ceiving sound. 

Even in our preliminary examination to de- 
termine how much and what the child can 
hear, I advise so conducting the exercise as 


The Little Deaf Child 

to keep him in the mental attitude toward 
sound of trying to get some thought, or idea, 
from what he hears. 

I would not use meaningless sounds or syl- 
lables, or musical instruments, or noise- 
making apparatus, or devote time to pitch 
and inflection in the early stages. After we 
have so far progressed as to have given the 
child a hearing vocabulary and so have put 
him into actual spoken communication with 
others, then we may devote some time to 
the less essential refinements of auricular 

So, having determined that the child can 
hear enough to be reasonably sure how many 
times the sound **Ah" is uttered behind his 
back and a few inches or more from his ear, 
or from his best ear, if he is able to perceive 
better with one than the other, I no longer 
make use of meaningless sounds and syl- 
lables, but select actual words that contain 
the sounds I wish to experiment with, and 
that are the names of objects that I can easily 
bring to the notice of the child. 

In the early tests we need to select sounds 
that are so widely different that it would not 
require very acute hearing to distinguish be- 
tween them. The three sounds of ' ' broad a, ' ' 


The Little Deae Child 

**long e," and ^'long o,'' as contained in the 
words '*car," **key" and **comb," will serve 
the purpose admirably. We could also use 
the sounds of long i, long 6 and ou, as in the 
words eye, nose and mouth, for either group 
meets the requirements I described. The 
meaning which the English language assigns 
to these groups can be easily made clear to 
the little deaf child if we have before him a 
toy railroad car, a toy automobile, a key and 
a comb. He, himself, can supply the needed 
eye, nose and mouth. 

The first group, car, key and comb, are par- 
ticularly well adapted to our purpose because 
they each begin with the same explosive con- 
sonant, have sufficiently the same length and 
would be very difficult to distinguish unless 
the actual vowel sounds were perceived as 
differing from each other. We wish to elimi- 
nate, as far as possible, all means of distin- 
guishing between the things we say except the 
actual perception of the difference in their 

^ Even supposing that the child is able to dis- 
tinguish at once between the three words so 
far as hearing is involved, he would not be 
able to know their meanings until he has been 


The Little Deaf Child 

taught them, for that is purely an arbitrary 
matter with the English language. 

We will, therefore, place the three objects 
before him on the table; the little car, the 
comb and the key. Then we will say the 
word ''car'' loudly and clearly some ten or 
twelve inches from his ear, and point to the 
toy car on the table. Then we will do the 
same with the comb and the key. 

Even though he may be a very bright little 
chap and have quite enough power of sound 
perception to distinguish between these three 
words, it will take a number of repetitions 
before he is even moderately sure which one 
you named. It is an unaccustomed mental 
exercise for him. He is beginning the acqui- 
sition of language. He is also just beginning 
to learn to LISTEN. 

In a few minutes he will tire. His listening 
power will decrease. His mental battery will 
''run down." He will apparently grow 
deafer. But a few minutes of rest and di- 
version will enable him to recover and again 
he will tackle the problem with renewed zest. 

As the work develops and gradually be- 
comes a little more of a grind, and loses its 
novelty, it may be advantageous to introduce 
some artificial stimulus to attention, such as 


The Little Deaf Child 

the reward of a tiny bit of candy; a sugared 
carroway seed serves nicely. But for some 
time at the start I have never found it diffi- 
cult, by showing great pleasure at the 
smallest success and no discouragement at 
failure, to secure enthusiastic cooperation on 
the part of any child. 

Five or ten minutes at a time, and two or 
three times a day, is enough of this for a 
week. When he can distinguish with consid- 
erable success between car, key and comb, no 
matter in what order they are spoken (and it 
will be necessary to pit your wits against his 
to see that he really listens instead of 
guesses), you can use eye, nose and mouth, 
and later you can combine the use of the six 
words, but do not expect him to distinguish 
as yet between nose and comb, or between car 
and eye and mouth with anything like the suc- 
cess that he distinguishes between car and 
nose, or between either and key, for the 
sound of the vowel e differs more widely 
from those of a and o than the latter do from 
each other. 

For the double purpose of assuring your- 
self of the results you are getting and of 
stimulating the child's interest and ambi- 
tion, it will be well, after a time, to keep a 


The Little Deaf Child 

record. Take a sheet of good-sized paper 
and at the top write the child's name. Then 
at the Tipper left hand corner write the day, 
month and year and the words used. Then 
below draw a horizontal line. 

Divide this line into two equal parts by a 
short vertical line and above the left half 
write the word Left and above the right half 
write Eight, meaning left and right ears. 
Consider that all marks above the horizontal 
line to the left of the vertical indicate correct 
results in the left ear, while all marks below 
the line on that side indicate errors. Sim- 
ilarly the marks on the right of the vertical 
show results in the right ear. It may look 
something like this : 

John Smith 

November 25, 1927. 
Oar, Key, Comb. 

Left Right 

This would mean that in the tests made on 
November 25, 1927, using the words Car, Key 
and Comb, the child gave the correct reply 
six times out of ten when the words were 
spoken close to his left ear, but only three 


The Little Deaf Child 

times out of ten when they were spoken near 
his right ear. That is, on this occasion the 
test showed a success of 60 per cent, in the 
left and 30 per cent, in the right ear. 

Such a record for a single day has little or 
no value, but the average of such records for 
a month would have very great value. On a 
single day the child might not have been well, 
or he might have been distracted, or he might 
have been naughty, or he might have had a 
ijold in the head. In fact, there are so many 
things that might account for such a record, 
wen in the case of a child with a consider- 
able power of hearing, that very little weight 
can be attached to any small number of rec- 
ords. The average, however, of a large num- 
ber of tests can be accepted as very reliable. 

When another group of words is desired, 
the numbers 'Hhree, four and five'' will serve 
nicely. Then *^John, James, George'' could 
be used, with pictures of boys to represent 

If the child is able to show an average of 
75 per cent, of correctness in distinguishing 
between any, or all, of these groups, in one 
or both ears for a period of a fortnight of 
exercises twice daily, it is certain proof that 
the time will be well spent that is required 


The Little Deap Child 

to teach that child a hearing vocabulary, even 
though his range of distance is not over an 

inch. . 

Then a beginning can be made m the use 
of short sentences instead of single words. 
These sentences should be chosen so that it 
is not too difficult to distinguish between 
them, and also so that the child with no lan- 
guage in which to express himself can, never- 
theless, definitely indicate whether he heard 
the sentence. ^ 

Such sentences as "Open the box. Open 
the door," "Open the seed" and later Shut 
the box," "Shut the door," "Shut the seed, 
"Touch your ear," "Touch your nose, 
"Touch your mouth," "Touch my ear, 
' ' Touch my nose, " " Touch my mouth. ' ' For 
some time only one group should be used in 
a test, in order not to so complicate matters 
as to make the exercise too difficult and dis- 
courage the child. As soon as progress in 
recognizing the words and sentences is such 
that it seems safe to combine them and use 
more than three in an exercise that can be 
done. The danger is in going too fast and 
getting beyond the depth of the child so that 
discouragement works against success by 


The Little Deaf Child 

reducing the intensity of his effort in listen- 

It will be observed that in these exercises 
we are training the child's ear to discriminate 
between differing vowel sounds, but never 
creating the mental attitude of listening for 
sounds but only for ideas-, that is, for words 
and sentences that have a meaning which he 
can understand and indicate his understand- 
ing of. This is a very important point, for 
our object is to cultivate the normal attitude 
of people toward hearing, which is to obtain 
ideas by means of it, and so to get into com- 
munication with others. 

There are instances of seriously impaired 
hearing where only sounds of high pitch can 
be perceived, and others where only those of 
low pitch are heard. If these powers of 
sound perception lie within the range of the 
speaking voice they are of value, but if above 
or below that range in both men and women, 
I do not consider it worth while to spend 
time in trying to make the hearing useful, as 
there are so many other more essential things 
that the deaf child must learn than merely to 
perceive sound when no language significance 
can be attached to it. 


The Little Deaf Child 

Sometimes it happens that the lower voice 
of a man is better heard by the child than 
that of a woman. In such cases it would be 
well to have the exercises given by the kind 
of voice that is best perceived. In order to 
determine whether the child that is nnder 
consideration happens to be one of these in- 
stances it is always well to have the exercises 
given occasionally by a man and at other 
times by a woman, choosing voices that are 
quite widely apart in pitch but both strong 
and clear. 



The Fourth Year of Life 

TOURING the fourth year of the child's 
life there should be a further exten- 
sion of the type of exercises outlined for the 
previous years. They can be somewhat in- 
creased and elaborated, as he is now more 

If there is believed to be a usable degree 
of hearing, even though at very short range, 
the list of words, phrases and sentences 
taught should be greatly enlarged. 

If it has become apparent that there is no 
ability to hear, the same increased number of 
words, phrases and sentences should be used 
as exercises in lip-reading. 

The sense training exercises should be 
continued but made more difficult by leading 
the child to discriminate finer differences of 
vibration, texture, form and weight; the 
recognition of less widely differing tones 
when touching the piano, or other musical 
instrument, and his mother's chest when she 
sings high and low notes. Further effort 


The Little Deaf Child 

should be made to get the child to make 
sounds of higher pitch when he feels a high 
tone, and lower pitch when he feels a low 
tone. But in these exercises he should be 
trained to observe the feeling of vibration in 
his own chest by thinJcing of what he feels 
there without putting his hands upon him- 
self. It is much better not to let him form 
the habit of using his hands to feel his own 
voice. That is not necessary, and if this 
habit is permitted in the beginning it soon 
limits his perception and distracts his atten- 
tion from the real sensations in his own 
body, and also leads to unnatural and unde- 
sirable gesticulation. The child can never 
have too much contact with his mother, for it 
is only by touch that he can perceive that 
vibration accompanies her speech, but he 
does not need to use his hands upon himself, 
and should not be trained, or allowed to 
do so. 

He can now be taught the idea of number 
and to read the names of small numbers from 
the lips. The beginning should be made, of 
course, with similar objects. Put before him 
a block and say *'one." Then two similar 
blocks and say ''two." Then three blocks 
and say ''thvee." Kepeat this with pennies, 


The Little Deaf Child 

pencils, spoons, anything. Little by little 
you will see the idea of number taking shape 
in his mind, and by and by if you put a pile 
of blocks in front of him and speak the num- 
bers he will pick out the number of blocks 
that you call for. Gradually you can extend 
this teaching as far as nine, but there it 
would be well to stop for the present. 

Even in one-third of the cases of children 
with seriously impaired hearing where there 
is found a small degree of usable perception 
of sound, a very considerable portion of the 
educational training must be conducted with- 
out the aid of this hearing, and in two-thirds 
of the cases the entire education must be 
given without assistance from the ear. 

The one great thing that must first be 
accomplished is the giving to the child an 
understanding of language. Without this 
nothing else can be attained. Early in the 
process of language acquisition a beginning 
can be made in teaching him to speak, but 
speech on his part must follow comprehen- 
sion of language when used hy others, and 
for a long time will, of necessity, lag behind 
his understanding of language spoken and 
written. This lag is not peculiar to the deaf. 
It is exactly the same with hearing children. 

The Little Deaf Child 

They comprehend what is said to them long 
before they are able to say the same things 
themselves, and even well along in their lives 
they will be able to understand what they 
hear spoken and see written, but will be un- 
able to express the same things themselves. 

When we can enjoy even a slight assistance 
from the ear in this process of teaching 
language, it is a great help, but we shall 
always have to resort to other devices to fully 
accomplish the task. 

Learning to Read 

The sooner it is possible to teach the child 
to read the quicker will the problem of lan- 
guage acquisition be solved. Not much can 
be done in this matter before he is four years 
of age, but a small beginning can be made as 
he enters upon his fourth year by a play 
device which I will describe. 

We must remember that to the child every- 
thing that he sees written or printed will for 
some time be merely a variety of pictures. 
He can at the start do better if written or 
printed words are presented to him merely 
as pictures and not as composed of letters. 
In other words, it is better to begin with 


The Little Deaf Child 

wholes rather than with parts, that he must, 
by a mental process, combine into wholes. 

Take a piece of white paper and in clear, 
simple print, not less than three-eighths of 
an inch high, make slips containing the words 
^^Table,'' ^Thair,'' ^^Box," ^^Boat." Make 
two slips of each. Paste one slip on a bit of 
cardboard and paste the other on the object 

Give one of the cardboard words to the 
little fellow and lead him to the correspond- 
ing object and show him that the two pic- 
tures, the one on the bit of cardboard in his 
hand, and the one pasted on the object, are 
alike. Then give him another and again take 
him and show him that this picture is like the 
one on another object. Next go back to your 
own place and give him one of the two bits of 
cardboard and get him to take it to the object 
that has the same picture pasted on it. I use 
the word picture instead of word because 
that is what it is as yet to the child. He 
studies it just as he studies any other picture 
and fixes its appearance in his mind as a 
whole, not as a thing made up of letters. 

Continue this game at intervals till he is 
able without error to match up the card- 
board slips with the appropriate objects. He 


The Little Deaf Child 

will like the game but, like all other games, it 
will not be interesting long at a time. He 
will, however, be quite willing to come back 
to it another day, and little by little the num- 
ber of words can be added to till he has quite 
a little vocabulary that he recognizes at sight. 

Other words than the names of objects can 
be added to the list, such as ^^Run,'' *^Walk," 
*^Jump,'' *^Hop," *^Kiss me,^' ^^Hug me,^' 
etc. Then a slip can be made ^^Walk to the" 
and he can be given it together with another 
slip saying Chair" and taught to walk to 
the chair, table, window, etc., and to ^*Run to 
the, " * * Hop to the, ' ' etc. Another slip can be 
made Bring me the" and this together with 
the slip *^Box" can be made to teach him to 
bring you the box. Add Hair, Teeth, Brush, 
Brush your hair. Brush your teeth. 

It will be very helpful if, after a few of 
these actions represented by the printed slips 
have been well learned, you teach him that the 
phrase Bring me the box" when spoken by 
you is the same thing as the printed slips, and 
teach him to bring you the box whether you 
speak the sentence to him or hand him the 
two slips. 

In time you can make other slips that con- 
tain the whole sentence on one bit of card- 

The Little Deaf Child 

board, Bring me the box." The limitations 
of this game can only be determined by the 
age, maturity, intelligence of the child. Do 
not, however, carry it along too fast to be 
thoroughly understood and retained. 

When you first try it you may find that the 
child is as yet too young for such an exercise. 
Do not be discouraged. Lay it aside for six 
months and then try it again. The same may 
be equally well said of any of the exercises 
that are described here. A child arrives 
progressively at the stages in his develop- 
ment when he will take an interest in and 
perform certain mental and muscular exer- 
cises. If something is presented to him too 
early he does not make a success of it. For 
example, the first set of the toy called 
**mechano'' which was given to my little son 
came to him before he had reached the 
**mechano'' stage of his development. He 
played with the bits of metal in an aimless 
sort of way, but would not try to carry out 
the definite designs explained in the accom- 
panying book, nor would he make any suc- 
cessful objects on his own initiative. When 
a year later he got another set he made much 
more intelligent use of it, and when at nine 
years old he got one of the more elaborate 


The Little Deaf Child 

sets lie busied himself for hours in making 
the most elaborate things, both from the 
printed directions and out of his own head. 
He had then reached the ^^mechano" stage of 
his development. 

There can be no sharp line drawn between 
the period preceding four years of age and 
that between four and six, but as four is 
approached and passed, a maturity is at- 
tained that makes possible many exercises 
that could not have been used before. 

The length of the lesson period can then 
be extended, perhaps to an hour twice a day, 
one in the morning and one in the afternoon, 
saving the more enjoyed exercises and occu- 
pations for the last. What these exercises 
are that the child prefers will vary somewhat 
with the individual and can only be deter- 
mined by experiment and observation. 

Learning to Speah 
The successful teaching of a totally deaf 
child to speak English is so technical a task 
and requires so much preliminary knowledge 
and experience on the part of the teacher, 
and it is so easy to do more harm than good 
by forming, or permitting to be formed, 
wrong habits of articulation, that I hesitate 



The Little Deaf Child 

to suggest the undertaking of this task by 
the untrained mother. 

If she has been working with the child 
along the lines already outlined and the child 
is fortunate enough to possess even a little 
power of sound perception a beginning will 
already have been made by the child in 
speaking. But if deafness is complete, little, 
or nothing, will have been accomplished as 
yet toward intelligible speech. 

It would really be much better if, having 
been taught what has been explained up to 
this point, the totally deaf child who is four 
and a half, or older, was placed in a special 
school for the oral education of the deaf, or 
under the instruction of a trained teacher of 
the deaf in his own home. 

It is not possible by means of the printed 
page alone to teach any one how to teach 
speech to a totally deaf child. The utmost 
that I can do here is to point out a few things 
that the untrained and inexperienced can 
safely do, and a few other things that cannot 
be done safely. 

It must be remembered that the sounds of 
the letters of the alphabet are quite different 
from their names. For this reason it is un- 
desirable that any attempt should be made to 


The Little Deaf Child 

teach a little deaf child to *'say his letters/' 
That is to say what we call his A B Cs, as 
this only leads to unnecessary confusion in 
his mind. For example, the name of the let- 
ter M is '*Em," hut its sound is merely the 
hum that results when we make voice with 
our lips closed. The name of the letter F is 
**Ef,'' but its sound is only the slight breathy 
noise that occurs when breath without voice 
flows out of the mouth while the under lip 
rests against the lower edge of the upper 

In the beginning, all speech teaching effort 
should be confined to those sounds and com- 
binations in which the positions of the speech 
organs, the lips, tongue, teeth, etc., while 
uttering them are most easily seen. No at- 
tempt should be made for a long time to 
teach the sounds of K and G, or the distinc- 
tion between them, or the distinction between 
P and B, or T and D. The sounds of S, and 
of long E, as in feel,'' L and E, are also dif- 
ficult to teach and no struggle should be made 
over them. 

If the mother teacher will content herself 
with efforts to get the child to make the 
sounds of the letters M, N, V, F, B, P, W, Th, 
th, A (Ah), A (Aw) (as in ^^awl" or '^for"), 


The Little Deaf Child 

O (Oh), Oo, Ow (as in ^'owP'), f (as in 
''up"), together with such rough approxima- 
tions as the child may be able to manage by 
imitation of I (as in *^ice"), A (as in *'ace,'' 
or '^way"), Oi (as in ^^oil,'' or ^^boy'O, and 
the various combinations of these sounds, she 
can accomplish a good deal and is least likely 
to do harm. 

The universal word for mother, the world 
over, is ^^mama'' because that is what results 
when a child opens and shuts his lips while 
uttering voice. It is composed of the simplest 
and easiest sounds and is an unconscious 
utterance. The sound of it is produced, as I 
have said above, by the hum of voice with lips 
closed, and if the jaw is dropped loosely a 
little way and the voice continued the vowel 
A (Ah) results. This repeated gives 

To test your ability to do what you are told 
with your tongue and lips I wiU set you some 

Exercise 1, 
At the same time while saying a prolonged 

Ah draw in the corners of 

your lips slightly and see what change that 
makes in the sound you are uttering. 


The Little Deae Child 

Exercise 2. 

Now, wMle uttering voice in this new posi- 
tion, with the corners of your lips slightly 
drawn in, also draw your tongue back ever 
so little. 

Exercise 3. 

Next, while making this last sound, please 
round the lips a trifle more and draw the 
tongue back still a little further. 

Exercise 4. 

Now, while continuing this last sound, 
please round the lips to a little smaller pucker 
and see what sound comes. 

Exercise 5. 

Then, while continuing that sound, make 
the lip opening so small and tight that the 
voice can hardly squeeze through. 

Exercise 6. 

Now, alternately, make this last sound and 
the slightly looser sound that came before it. 
First one and then the other, several times 
without stopping the voice. 

Exercise 7. 

Now say Ah --- and while 

saying it, and without any stopping of the 


The Little Deaf Child 

voice, change the shape of the lips to the 
round, slightly puckered form of the fourth 
exercise, and repeat this two or three times. 
Exercise 8, 

Again, while keeping your voice going con- 
tinually without any stop, begin with your 
lips in the last, tightest position as in exer- 
cise 5, and gradually open them till you are 

saying Ah , then, still without 

stopping your voice, go back to the shape of 
your lips with which you started. 

/ would like you to go through with these 
exercises several times before reading any 
further, and please impress upon your mem- 
ory what the sounds (or noises) were that 
you made the first few times you attempted 
the exercises, for I want you to be able to 
compare them, and the facial action which 
accompanied them, with some sounds that I 
shall ask you to make later. 



Fourth Year Continued, and Fifth 

UNLESS you were much more successful 
than the cultured and intelhgent peo- 
ple upon whom I tried those exercises before 
putting them in this book, you made some 
very funny and unnatural faces and some 
queer sounds while struggling to do as you 
were told. You opened your mouth much too 
wide at times; you twisted your lips into 
strange contortions; you forced your tongue 
back till it was a hard lump; your facial 
muscles became tense and your voice was 
strained and sometimes high, perhaps even 
breaking" in a funny squeak. 
If you did not do some, or all of these 
things while trying to go through the exer- 
cises the first time, you are to be highly con- 
gratulated, and if you did do them you need 
have no feeling of annoyance. 

The experiment of trying to consciously 
control organs which ordinarily work uncon- 
sciously, should be a very helpful one to you, 


The Little Deaf Child 

for it will give you a clearer realization of the 
difficulties under which the deaf child labors 
while learning to speak, and a more perfect 
understanding of why he is inclined to make 
such queer sounds and faces in his efforts to 
do what you ask of him. He, just like your- 
self in the case of the above exercises, makes 
too great a physical effort in trying to take 
the speech positions. 

It is exceedingly difficult to consciously 
make the very delicate movements of tongue 
and lips that are so easily made uncon- 
sciously under the guidance of the ear when 
there is no thought of muscular control. 

Now let us see how those exercises would 
have come out if you had been able to pro- 
duce them with the aid of your ears and your 
knowledge of speech. 

Please say Ah and then Aw. 

(the first part of the word ^^all," that is 
stopping before the ^^L" sound is given! 
Say them gently and naturally without effort, 
or exaggeration, in the most conversational 
tone. Say them two or three times, without 
stopping between the syllables, that is, with 
continuous voice, smoothly and softly. 

If you will observe the movements of your 
lips you will see that they do just what I 


The Little Deaf Child 

asked you to do in exercise 1. You will also 
notice, if you observe closely, that in chang- 
ing from Ah to Aw you draw your tongue 
back ever so slightly. 

Go back now and try those first exercises 
over again with the fact in mind that they 
aim to produce the natural utterance of the 
two sounds Ah and Aw. How does your per- 
formance now compare with your efforts 
when I first gave you the exercise ? Are you 
exerting as much effort now as before? Are 
you making faces, or queer sounds'? If so 
you are not doing the exercise correctly. 
When correctly done the result will be the 
conversational utterance of the vowel sounds 
A (Ah) and A (Aw). 

Exercise 2 was merely A (Aw) very quietly 

Exercise 3 was Aw Oh 

Exercise 4 was Oh Oo 

Exercise 5 was Oowoow. 
Exercise 6 was Woowoowoo. 
Exercise 7 was Ow (as in *^How"). 
Exercise 8 was Wow. 

Now if you observe yourself carefully you 
will notice that if, while uttering the vowel 
sound A (Ah), the lips are very slightly 


The Little Deaf Child 

drawn in at the corners, which protrudes 
them a trifle, and the tongue within the mouth 
is drawn backward very, very slightly, the 
sound of A (as in *^all," '*awl," **or") is 

If the lips are rounded a trifle more than 
for A and the tongue within the mouth is 
drawn still a little further back, the sound of 
O (Oh) will be heard, and a slight further 
reduction of the rounded lip opening and a 
little more drawing backward of the tongue 
will result in the sound of Oo. If, while say- 
ing Oo, the opening of the lips is reduced 
still further and is made so small that it 
really impedes, slightly, the flow of the breath, 
and the voice is continued, the sound of the 
letter W will be made, and if this very close 
orifice is alternated with the slightly larger 
one for Oo by gently relaxing the lips, the 
word ^ Voo'' will be uttered, and one can get 
a very good idea of the difference between 
the W and the Oo. If the reduction of the lip 
opening is carried still further to the point 
of actual closing, and the voice, which can 
now no longer escape through the mouth, is 
allowed to pass out with the breath through 
the nose, the sound of M will be made, and if 
this closed position is alternated with the 


The Little Deaf Child 

slightly open one for Oo and the voice is con- 
tinued the word **Moo'' will be uttered. If 
the closed position of the lips is alternated 
with the more open one for 6 you will hear 
the syllable **nio'' **mo^' **ino/' and this 
might excusably be accepted by the mother 
from her little deaf child as a request for 
^^more" of something, without attempting to 
complicate matters by struggling to complete 
the word. 

You will notice that in the unconscious 
position of rest (while reading this, for ex- 
ample), your teeth do not quite come to- 
gether, though your lips do. You will also 
notice that the edges of your tongue lightly 
touch the entire horseshoe formed by your 
teeth and the upper surface rests gently 
against the roof of your mouth. It is in a 
position that will serve perfectly well for the 
sound of M, not its name Em, but the little 
humming sound. If you will only part your 
lips slightly and make voice without changing 
the position of the tongue you will make the 
sound of the letter N (not its name En) . You 
will notice as you do this that the breath and 
voice come out through your nose just as 
they did when you made the sound of M with 
your lips closed. If you alternately close and 


The Little Deaf Child 

part your lips while uttering continuous 
sound without moving your tongue or teeth, 
you will make alternately the sounds of M 
and N. 

If, while you are uttering the sound of N, 
you will allow your tongue to drop from the 
roof of your mouth without stopping your 
voice, you will be saying A (Ah), and if you 
let your tongue alternately lie softly against 
the roof of your mouth and then fall away, 
without moving your teeth or lips, while 
your voice continues, you will find yourself 
saying Nah, Nah, and if you will do the same 
with your tongue while your lips are slightly 
pursed in the position previously described 
for A (aw), or more pursed and rounded for 
O (Oh), or still more pursed as for Oo, you 
will find that you are saying Naw, Naw, or 
No, No, or Noo, Noo. The last syllable might 
be accepted for the word **new" or **Knew.'' 
You will also notice that as you change from 
Nah to Naw, to No to Noo the tongue is 
drawn back into the mouth a very, very little 
more each time. 

By a little careful and gentle patience you 
will find you can get your little child to do 
these same things and utter the same sounds 
more or less accurately. But I cannot urge 


The Little Deaf Child 

you too strongly not to exaggerate the move- 
ments, or to permit any strain, either in your- 
self or in the child. The moment there is 
much muscular effort, or any exaggeration of 
movement, the hope of good speech is gone. 
You know by observing your own speech how 
slight muscular exertion is involved in the 
small movements that you make. 

Another thing I must impress upon you is 
that it is not possible to show the child in 
your own mouth the natural positions of the 
speech organs in normal speech. In order to 
enable him to see, you have to open your 
mouth unnaturally and place your tongue, 
etc., in positions quite different from those 
they occupy in natural speech. Yet, with his 
meager language, you cannot explain to him 
that you do not want him to imitate you. It 
is necessary to be able to explain to him the 
things that you do, without his being able to 
see what you do, and that requires a maturity 
of mind on his part and an understanding of 
language that he has not yet acquired, as well 
as an accurate knowledge on the part of the 
mother teacher that cannot be acquired by 
reading alone. 

It is for this reason that the speech teach- 
ing that should be undertaken by untrained 


The Little Deaf Child 

and inexperienced persons working with lit- 
tle deaf children of six, or less, is very lim- 
ited, and must be confined to those things that 
can be made clear without exaggeration and 

The teaching of the breath'' and the 
'^stop" consonants takes the untrained 
mother teacher into more difficult ground 
which should be entered cautiously and not 
very far. 

Perhaps the easiest of these sounds are the 
th and f, but I think it is better to teach their 
vocalized mates, th and V, first as, in my 
opinion, much smoother and better speech is 
ultimately attained if voice is used in the 
earliest efforts to speak. For that reason I 
urge all professional teachers of speech to 
the deaf to postpone the breath and stop con- 
sonants, such as (th, f, s) (p, t, k) till the 
corresponding voiced consonants have been 
learned, viz. (th and z, v) (b, d, g). 

The sound of the letters th, as in 'Hhin,'' is 
a ''breath'' sound, that is, it is not accom- 
panied by voice; whereas the sound of the 
same letters as in the word ''then" is vocal- 
ized, that is, it is accompanied with voice. 

To follow the teaching of the vocalized 
form, as in "then," by teaching the unvoiced 


The Little Deaf Child 

sound, as in **tliin/' is an excellent way of 
developing in a deaf child the consciousness 
of his own voice and a recognition of the 
feeling in his own body when he uses his 
voice. It is a comparatively easy sound to 
teach because the positions of the organs are 
quite visible even when uttered naturally. 
The tongue rests gently between the almost 
closed teeth and protrudes a very little. The 
teacher should take this position, as if she 
was going to say ^Hhen," and hold one of the 
child's hands against her chest while she 
holds the back of his other hand close to, but 
not touching, her lips. If she then starts her 
voice without moving her tongue or lips she 
will utter the sound of vocalized th and the 
child can have his attention drawn to the 
feeling of vibration in the mother's chest on 
which his hand lightly rests and also to the 
little stream of breath he can feel coming 
from her mouth and hitting the back of his 
hand. By changing to the sound of th, as in 
*^thin," without any movement of tongue or 
lips, which merely means continuing the out- 
ward flow of breath but no longer uttering 
voice, the child can gradually be taught to 
notice that the sensation of breath against 
the back of his hand continues, though there 


The Little Deaf Child 

is no longer any sensation of vibration in the 
mother's chest. He can also be taught to 
place his tongue in a similar position and 
make voice, thereby uttering the voiced sound 
of th, and then to continue the flow of breath 
but discontinue his voice and so uttering the 
non-vocal th. This process will bring to his 
notice the sensation of vibration that accom- 
panies voice both in his own body and that 
bf his teacher. It is not necessary for him 
to place his hand on his own chest in order 
to perceive the vibration in his ov/n body, 
and it is undesirable that he should be al- 
lowed to do so, as it easily develops into an 
unnatural and abnormal habit. He can feel 
his voice in his own body without any help 
from his hand, but in your chest he must feel 
it with his hand, as he cannot see any differ- 
ence between the two forms of Th. He 
should not he allowed to form the habit of 
putting his hand on his own chest when he 
thinks of making a sound. It is unnecessary 
and unnatural and we want to avoid, so far 
as we can, anything that is different from 
other people. 

He cannot have too much contact with the 
person who is teaching him, for by such con- 
tact he gets much information that his eyes 


The Little Deae Child 

cannot convey to him about what is being 
done by the voice. Sitting in your lap ; lean- 
ing against your chest when you are speak- 
ing ; putting his hands on your chest, throat, 
head ; all these are of value to him. But he 
can feel his own voice in his own chest, head 
and body, when once his attention is directed 
to it, without any help from his hands, and 
he should be trained to observe his voice in 
that way without his hands. 

A very amusing way of getting his atten- 
tion directed to your voice when you are 
making the two kinds of Th is to let him hold 
one end of a thin stick some three or four feet 
long with the other end touching your chest. 
As your voice stops and starts he will feel 
the vibration in the stick and will be both per- 
plexed and amused by it. There would be no 
harm in his trying it on himself, touching his 
own chest with one end of the stick while he 
holds it in his hand. 

By this means he can be given a conscious 
control of his voice, learning to start and stop 
it at will, as is necessary in learning to 

The sound of V is made by uttering voice 
when in the position for F, as in fin, that is 
with the under lip in the gentlest contact with 


The Little Deaf Child 

the front upper teeth, and you can vary the 
Th experiment with the stick by placing one 
end on your chin as you alternately say F 
without voice and with voice, which latter 
is V. You can observe the difference if you 
say the words *'few'' and '*view." 

Again starting with the sound of N , 

if, while you prolong it, you will allow the 
front of your tongue to drop while the middle 
and back remain in contact with the roof, and 
voice and breath continue to escape through 
the nose, you will be making the sound of Ng 
(as in the finish of ''sing"). 
If, while you are humming the sound of 

^ with your lips softly shut and the 

breath and voice escaping through your nose, 
you will suddenly pinch your nose thereby 
stopping the outflow of breath, your voice will 
continue to sound for an almost imperceptible 
instant because the throat is slightly elastic 
and a little breath can still squeeze through 
the larynx even when both nose and mouth 
openings are closed. Then there will be a 
forced stop and you will have made the sound 

^ — If you then let your lips part 

there will follow a little puff of the impris- 
oned air, but this puff is not really a part of 


The Little Deae Child 

the B. Yon will have said the B sound as 
in umber." 

But if you had stopped your voice just as 
you pinched your nose, so that the voice did 
not continue on with the last bit of breath 
that could squeeze out, you would have said 

the sound of P , and if you then part 

your lips there will follow the same little puff 
as the imprisoned air escapes, but this puff 
is not part of the P. 

When you have carefully observed what 
happens in these exercises on B and P, you 

can try another. Say N and while 

saying it shift to Ng„ as described 

above, and then while saying the prolonged 
Ng close your nostrils by gently pinch- 
ing them as you did for B and P, being care- 
ful to retain the position of the back of the 
tongue against the back of the roof of the 

mouth as in the Ng When you do 

this correctly you will have uttered the sound 
of G. As in the case of the B, the sound of 
your voice will continue for an instant after 
the nostrils have been closed owing to the 
slight stretching of the throat which allows a 
bit of breath to pass through the larynx even 
after all outlets at nose and mouth are closed. 
If you then release the back of your tongue 


The Little Deaf Child 

there will follow the same little puif of im- 
prisoned air as in the case of the B and P but 
this puff is not really a part of the G. You 
will have said the sound of G as in ''hunger.'' 
If, instead of permitting your voice to con- 
tinue till it was stopped because no more 
breath could escape through the larynx, you 
had voluntarily stopped it at the moment 
when the nostrils were stopped, you would 
have said the sound of K as in ''ink." You 
can compare the sounds of Q and K by study- 
ing your utterance of the words "anger" and 
"anchor" and carefully observing the dif- 

In teaching a deaf child I advise the teach- 
ing of the voiced sounds first; that is, B be- 
fore P ; D before T ; Q before K ; V before F, 
and Z (the sound of S as in "was") before 
S (as in "wasp"). 

Now, if, while your tongue is in the posi- 
tion for N and you have stopped your voice 
while the breath continues to escape through 
your nose, you will, without any change in the 
position of your tongue, let the breath try to 
get out through the mouth instead of through 
the nose, the front of your tongue will pre- 


The Little Deae Child 

vent as it is against the roof of your month 
jnst back of yonr npper front teeth. Then if 
yon suddenly release the position yon will 
make a little pnff that is very similar to the 
P and the K, bnt it is not either ; it is a T. 
This T is also a *'stop." In this case the 
imprisoning being done by the front of the 
tongue against the roof of the month jnst be- 
hind the npper front teeth, and the puff re- 
sulting when the tongue suddenly releases the 
breath, but the puff is not really a part of 
the T. The vocalized form of the T is D. 

You will be able to compare the breath 
forms with the vocalized forms of these let- 
ters P, B, T. D, K. G, F, V, if you say alter- 
nately the syllables up ub, ut ud, uk ug, uf uv. 

I may as well add that Z is the vocalized 
form of S as you will see if you say Us uz. 

If you want to prove to yourself and the 
child that the breath does come out of your 
nose when you utter an N, an M and an Ng, 
you can show it very delicately and surpris- 
ingly by holding a hand mirror under your 
nostrils while making the sound and then 
looking at it quickly before the film of mois- 
ture fades away that is deposited on the cool 
glass by the warm breath. 


The Little Deaf Child 

A fairly close approximation to the word 
''mother'' can be obtained from the child by 
teaching him to follow an M with ''uth" (the 
vocalized form of th). He will probably 
finish with a bit of voice at the end and that 
will help the word. 

A small number of actual words and a 
large number of useful syllabic articulation 
exercises can be formed with the restricted 
list of sounds that I have said can be safely 

With M at the beginning we can have 
''mou'' (mo ii), which would do for the 
moment in place of the word, ''more.'' 
Moan. Mow (to cut grass). Mope. Mama. 
Mop. Moo. Moon. Muff. And Miithu 
which, as I have said, might be accepted 
temporarily for "Mother." 

With initial N we can have No. Now. 
Noon. Noo (which may easily serve for 
"new" and "knew") . Nuff (which might be 
accepted for "enough"). 

With F at the beginning we could have Fa 
(which could represent "far" with no great 
strain of the imagination). Fou (not so far 
from the F. F. V. (First Families of Vir- 
ginia) for "four"). Foe. Fawu (nearly 
"for"). Fun. Fown (which could be ac- 


The Little Deae Child 

cepted in the beginning for ^'fonnd'') and 
Fathu (as an approach to father''). 

Combinations with initial P would supply 
Papa. Paw. Pou and Poou (close rivals of 
the Virginian for ^^pour'' and ^^poor''). 
Poon (which might be accepted from the little 
one for spoon.'' Pown (not so far from 

W gives us Wawm. Wawn. "Wown (that 
approach **warm," **want," wound"). 

With the vowel A we can have Am (almost 
'*arm"). On. Of. 

A (aw) supplies Off. Au (*^or"). O (oh) 
gives us Own. Ovu (''over"). 

Then there might be Ow for ''how," and 
OwxL for "our." Up. And Um might do 
duty for "come" till a K can be made, as O 
might also serve for "go." 

Excellent practice exercises preparatory to 
more formal speech teaching can be formed 
by syllabic drill with the sounds recommended 
for early use. Such as the rapid repetition of 

Un un un un etc. 

(with very slight jaw move- 


Na na na na 

(with no jaw movement) 

Now now now now 

(with only very slight jaw 



The Little Deap Child 

No no no no 
Noo noo noo noo 

Ma ma ma ma 
Mow mow mow mow 
Maw maw maw maw 
Mo mo mo mo 

Fa fa fa fa 
Fow fow fow fow 
Faw faw faw faw 
F6 fo fo fo 
Foo foo foo foo 

Woo woo woo woo 
Wo wo wo wo 
Waw waw waw waw 
Wa wa wa wa 
Wow wow wow wow 


(with no jaw movement and 
steady retention of the 
rounded and slightly pro- 
truded position of the lips 
for the vowel) 

(all with very slight jaw 
movement and no exagger- 
ated motion of the lips) 

(all with very little move- 
ment of the jaw and no 
exaggerated motion of 
the lips) 

(as above) 

The Little Deaf Child 

Thu tlm tiin tilU (vocalized th) 

Thaw thaw thaw thaw ^^.^^ ^^^^^^ movement 

mi - XI - XI - XI,- ex&ei^t the sUght protru- 
Tho tho thO tno gion and withdrawal of 

the tongue. Practically 
ThoO thoO thoo thoo no jaw movement) 

Tha tha tha tha 
Thow thow "^ow thow 

Study your own natural utterance of these 
syllables and insist upon an entire absence of 
exaggeration on the part of the child. Allow- 
ing him to form the habit of moving the 
speech organs through excessive and unnatu- 
ral distances at this stage will render it more 
difficult to teach good speech later. 

trthii lithu iithii iithu 

Awthaw awthaw awthaw aw^aw 

Otho otho otho otho 

Oothoo oothoo oothoo oothoo 

Ama ama ama ama 

Owmow owmow owmow owmow 


The Little Deae Child 
Awmaw awmaw awmaw awmaw 
Omo omo omo omo 

Afa afa afa afa 

Owfow owfow owfow owfow 

Ofo ofo ofo ofo 

Oofoo oofoo oofoo oofoo 

Ana ana ana ana 

Ownow ownow ownow ownow 

Ono ono ono ono 

Oonoo oonoo oonoo oonoo 

Apa apa apa apa 
Owpow owpow owpow owpow 
Awpaw awpaw awpaw awpaw 
Opo opo opo opo 


The Little Deae Child 
Awa awa awa awa 
Owwow owwow owwow owwow 
Owo owo owo owo 
Oowoo oowoo oowoo oowoo 

If the mother teacher wishes to make a 
little further excursion into a field of slightly 
more difficult speech exercises that are very 
valuable, she can attempt to get the child to 
accent the syllables in the last series (those 
containing two syllables). 

The following will serve as examples of 
exercises in accent: 

Ama ama ama ama 
Owmow owmow owmow owmow 
Awmaw awmaw awmaw awmaw 
Omo omo omo omo 

Afa afa afa afa 

Owfow owfow owfow owfow 


The Little Deaf Child 
Awfaw awfaw awfaw awfaw 
Ofo ofo ofo ofo 


Ama ama ama ama 
Owmow owmaw owmow owmow 
Awmaw awmaw awmaw awmaw 
Omo omo omo omo 

Ana ana ana ana 
Ownow ownow ownow ownow 
Awnaw awnaw awnaw awnaw 
Cno ono 6no ono 

and so on with all the groups having two syl- 
lables, repeating each group twice, accenting 
the second syllable the first time and the first 
syllable the second time. Many variations of 
this order and a vast number of differing 


The Little Deaf Child 

combinations can be made, as for example, 
om5 6mo, ama ama, amo amo, oma oma. 

Eventually, accent must play a conspicuous 
part in the correct speaking of English, and 
it may as well be begun early. 

Perhaps I have said enough to place the 
door ajar and permit the inexperienced 
mother teacher a glimpse into the maze of 
difficulties that surround the teaching of 
speech without the assistance of the ear, but 
I hope not enough to discourage her from 
undertaking the things which I have advised 
and which she has my assurance she is en- 
tirely capable of accomplishing. 

The inexperienced are sometimes inclined 
to **rush in where angels fear to tread," but, 
while trained teachers of the deaf are by no 
means angels," neither should the un- 
trained mother teacher be classed in the other 
category. My desire is that she should 
courageously undertake the many things that 
lie in her power to do for her little deaf child 
while at the same time she recognizes that 
there are some limitations to her safe ac- 

As the child advances further into his 
fourth year of life he will arrive at a gradu- 
ally increasing maturity of mind and body 


The Little Deaf Child 

that will make it possible for the mother 
teacher to make more and more use of the 
speech teaching suggestions I have given. 
But her constantly remembered motto must 
be to *^make haste slowly," and she must 
carefully guard against falling into the atti- 
tude of expecting too much of the little child. 

More Advanced Beading 
With the increased maturity and mentality 
that comes with the fourth and fifth years of 
life the child can be asked to make rapid 
progress in learning to read the printed and 
written page and to understand what is said 
to him by speech on the part of those in his 
family and social acquaintance. 

From the game of matching printed slips 
and performing the actions named on such 
slips the transition is easy to rudimentary 
primers with large type and interesting pic- 
tures and the use of such books should be in- 
troduced as early as possible in the fourth 

The sooner the child learns to read a simple 
book the better, but great care and ingenuity 
must be shown to be sure that he so learns as 
to associate pleasure with the reading of 
books, and that he regard printed matter as 


The Little Deaf Child 

an interesting source of ideas and not merely 
as a boresome accompaniment of interesting 
pictures. Make Mm act out the very simple 
events described by the print, in order that 
he may discover that the printed page has a 
close connection with interesting ideas. You 
will probably have to prepare some little 
stories yourself with a typewriter as an inter- 
mediate step between the words, illustrated 
by pictures, in the primers, and the associa- 
tion of connected ideas and sequences of 
action with printed sentences. Most primers 
are either too difficult, or too stupid to serve 
the purpose we require of awakening a desire 
in the child's mind to dig the ideas from the 
printed matter. The matter they use is 
either too disconnected in ideas, or too diffi- 
cult in expression. The matter we need must 
be within the already known vocabulary of 
the child and contain ideas that naturally re- 
sult from each other. 

The following might serve as a sample of 
one of these supplements to the primers. 



The Little Deaf Child 


Of course, before this story could be given 
to the child the meanings of the principal 
words in it must have been taught by use of 
the devices already suggested. He should 
know the appearance and meaning of the 
words boy, saw, bird, nest, tree, climbed, look, 
four, egg, blue, mother, afraid, hop, branch, 
good, touch, down, sat, glad. The words 

afraid," *^good," ^*glad," will require con- 
siderable preliminary practice before the 
ideas they convey are thoroughly in the 
child's mind. The story should not be given 
to him till it is practically certain that there 
is a clear understanding of the words I have 
mentioned. The other words do not matter 
much and it is essential that he be accustomed 
to overlook words that are not ^*key'' words 


The Little Deaf Child 

in the sentences and not form the habit of 
being brought to a halt by the first word that 
he does not know. He should be trained to 
read for ideas and to infer to a considerable 
extent what words must mean from those that 
he already knows. For example ; if he knows 
''boy/' ''saw/' "nest," "tree," he really 
does not need "a," "bird's," "in" to get 
the mental picture of a boy looking up in 
a tree and seeing a nest. If he knows 
"climbed," and "tree," it should be no 
stumbling block to him if he does not know 
' ' He, ' ' and ' ' the. " If he knows " look " and 
"nest," he should not be halted by the fact 
that there is an "ed" on "look," or by the 
word "in." If he has learned "egg" and 
"blue" the "the" and "were" should not 
prevent him from getting the thought and 
passing at once to the next sentence. 

If this story was typed on a good-sized 
piece of paper and pasted on a sheet of card- 
board and given to the boy to work at by 
himself and after he had tried to get the 
ideas he was asked to draw a series of pic- 
tures himself to illustrate it the experience 
would be very valuable. The first time this 
was done it might be necessary to give him a 
little help and suggestion, though it would be 


The Little Deaf Child 

mucli more valuable if he could be led to read 
it and draw the pictures without any outside 
help. Naturally his pictures would be very 
crude, and perhaps unrecognizable by any 
one unless the preceding facts were known, 
but to him they would be very real. 

He could be led to draw first a tree with 
the nest in it and the boy below. Then the 
boy half way up the tree, or all the way up 
and looking in the nest, with the mother bird 
on a branch. Then the boy below and the 
mother bird on the nest. Several pictures in 
succession on a sheet of paper. Perhaps he 
could be allowed to color the pictures to suit 
his fancy. 

With this example in mind you could make 
other stories and let him read and then illus- 
trate them. But they must be very simple 
and very real and plain and contain no ideas 
wholly new and foreign to him. Each story 
should be led up to by first making him 
familiar with the ^*key" words, so that he 
can run through the sentences and get the 
thought, even if there are some non-essential 
words that he does not know. 

His ability to read for ideas will, and 
should, much exceed his ability to express 
himself, either in speech or writing. But at 


The Little Deaf Child 

any time now he can be taught to form the 
letters (large and round) with a pencil on 
paper or with crayon on a blackboard, and 
little by little be led to write a few short well- 
known words. Gradually he can be trained 
to write to express ideas of his own. Accept 
his first efforts, no matter how crude and im- 
perfect, with much show of pleasure. Be 
very careful that his enthusiasm is not 
dampened by lack of appreciation. His first 
efforts at writing may well be to copy the 
printed words on the cards with which he 
began to learn to read. Then he can be led 
to observe the recurrence of the same letters 
and gradually can be taught to make the let- 
ters separately. You can make duplicate 
cards of the most familiar words and use 
written script, made round and plain, and 
teach him that the new, written cards mean 
the same as the familiar printed ones he has 
been using. The addition of script letters 
will not be a difficult matter, but should not 
be attempted till he is very sure of the 
printed form. You can then substitute the 
written cards for the old printed cards and 
he will quickly learn to put them around on 
their respective objects to perform the 


The Little Deae Child 

actions called for just as lie did with the old 

As time goes on you can make cards for all 
the sentences that he has been taught to read 
from the lips and teach him to understand 
that the meaning is the same whether the 
words are spoken or written. 

He can have further practice with numbers, 
first in recognizing the number of objects 
and, in course of time in the addition of small 
numbers like one and two to make three, two 
and two to make four, etc. First take a 
series of objects, such as buttons, pins, pen- 
nies, beans, stones, etc., and selecting two of 
one kind place your hand over them and in- 
duce him to pick out the same number of the 
same thing and put his hand over them. 
Then pick out three of some other object and 
have him do the same. 

You can type the numbers, up to nine, on 
cards and teach him to select the card that 
corresponds to the number of objects you 
have under your hand. In course of time 
you can teach him to print, or write the num- 
bers himself. 

When he is quite familiar with the numbers 
themselves you can try him on simple addi- 
tion. Put two pennies under one hand. 


The Little Deaf Child 

Take one more penny and, without lifting the 
hand that covers the first two, slip the third 
one under it and indicate to the child that you 
want to know how many pennies are now 
under the hand. He will not know at first so 
you will lift your hand and show him the 
three pennies and have him select the card on 
which is the word *Hhree/' Eepeat this sev- 
eral times till he gets the idea and shows you 
the * 'three " card correctly each time. Then 
slip two pennies under the hand that is 
already covering two pennies and teach him 
to show you the ''four'' card. Do not carry 
this so far as to confuse him and make it so 
difficult that he becomes discouraged. 

Always be on the outlook lest you ask some- 
thing of him before he is quite ready for it. 
If you do not get results it will be well to dis- 
continue that particular exercise for a time 
and return to it later when he may be more 
ready for it. 



After the Fifth Yeae of Life 

TF there is a day school for the deaf within 
a feasible distance of your home, or if 
you are able to send him to some small pri- 
vate school it would be well to enter your 
child not later than the end of the fourth 
year. If you have been able to do with him 
the work as outlined in these pages you will 
find that he is prepared to start ahead of the 
beginning class and is ready to benefit to the 
full by the instruction provided in the school, 
and to make rapid progress. 

If you must send him to a state institution 
I think you would better continue to work 
with him at home till he is at least six years 
of age. The conditions in the large state in- 
stitutions are such that very little children 
are usually better off in their own homes 
when it is possible to give them any educa- 
tional assistance there. 

If you keep him at home after the end of 
the fourth or fifth year you should use your 


The Little Deaf Child 

lesson time with the child in increasing his 
ability to read intelligently, to use larger 
numbers and to do the simple operations of 
addition, subtraction and multiplication with 
small numbers, and to read the lips more and 
more fluently as well as to use such spoken 
words as you may have been able to teach him 
to utter. 

When he is six he really should enter some 
special school for the deaf, and begin his more 
formal education. The time you have given 
him will be of immense value to him in de- 
veloping his mentality and in starting him in 
the various lines at the correct time indicated 
by nature. He will be well in advance! of 
other deaf children of his age who have not 
enjoyed the same advantages. 

You should keep yourself informed as to 
what he is learning at school and when he 
comes home for vacations you should insist 
upon his use of all that he has acquired. See 
that he uses the best English he has and do 
not accept from him imperfect sentences 
when you know he can, if he will make the 
effort, use complete expressions, either 
spoken or written. 

Speak to him always and insist on his 
speaking to you. Do not accept gestures 


The Little Deaf Child 

from him as expressions of his ideas. En- 
courage him to read and see that he is pro- 
vide with suitable interesting material. In- 
sist upon his doing a little writing each day, 
even if it is only a few sentences by way of 

When he is at school write him at least once 
a week about home affairs, using plain, 
straightforward language and writing dis- 
tinctly. Show a real interest in all that he 
studies and does. Provide him with suitable 
companionship when at home and help him 
to hold his own with his playmates. Encour- 
age him to associate with hearing boys and 
girls, and give him special home training in 
their games so that he may be already 
familiar with what is expected of him before 
his hearing playmates start to teach him. 

Schools for the Deaf " 
In 1927 there were in the United States 192 
special schools for the deaf, and 7 in Canada. 

Every state in the union except Delaware, 
New Hampshire, Nevada and Wyoming 
maintains a residential school for the deaf 
and in some of the states there are several, 
as the total of public residential schools for 
the deaf is 63. There were 110 public day 


The Little Deaf Child 

schools in the United States and 19 denomi- 
national and private schools. 

The age of admission to the public residen- 
tial schools is usually six years, hut in a few 
pupils are admitted earlier and in others 

The public state schools, residential and 
day, are free to residents of the state and 
children from other states are admitted on 
the payment of tuition ranging from $300 to 
$600 per year. 

I shall be pleased to send to anyone on re- 
quest the address of the school nearest to the 
writer's home. 

Most of the public residential schools are 
conducted by what is known as the Com- 
bined" system. That means that while every 
pupil receives instruction in speaking and lip 
reading, the sign language, or finger spelling, 
or both, are used to some extent both in in- 
struction and in general communication with 
the pupils and all pupils are familiar with 
those silent methods of communication. 

There are many schools in which the 
purely oral method is exclusively employed 
and no use is made of the sign language or 
finger spelling by the school staff either in or 
out of the class rooms. 


The Little Deae Child 

During the first half century of the educa- 
tion of the deaf in the United States all the 
instruction was given by silent methods. 
These methods are being gradually sup- 
planted by oral methods, and today the 
greater part of school room procedure is by 
speech and writing only, though in the shops 
and dining rooms and playgrounds silent 
methods of communication are employed and 
permitted in many schools. 

Historically our American schools were 
modeled upon the National Institution for the 
Deaf in Paris, France, which was at that 
time, 1816, conducted by silent methods. 
Long ago this method was abandoned in 
France, but its use has been largely continued 
in the United States. 

Some of the most efficient schools for the 
deaf in the United States are conducted 
wholly without either the sign language or 
finger spelling and their educational results 
exceed in some cases the best results attained 
by the ^'Combined" schools, and in all cases 
are as good as Combined'' schools of sim- 
ilar type. The use of the sign language and 
finger spelling is not only unnecessary in 
educating deaf children, it is really a handi- 
cap, and in time will be wholly eliminated 
from our educational system. 


The Little Deaf Child 

Aid& to Hearing 
Before closing I ought to say that (more 
is the pity) there are many persons who live 
by trading upon the ignorance and credulity 
of the unfortunate. The deaf and the 
friends of the deaf fall an easy prey to the 
advertisements of quack remedies, ear drums, 
etc., that are always useless and sometimes 
actually dangerous. The American Medical 
Association has had the courage to issue a 
pamphlet in which these fake cures are de- 
scribed and exposed, and every deaf person, 
and parent of a deaf child, should have one 
of these pamphlets. The title is Deafness 
Cure Fakes, ' ^ and can be obtained by writing 
to the American Medical Association, 535 
North Dearborn Street, Chicago, Illinois. 


Questions That Parents Would Be Likely 
TO Wish Answered by the Book 

What are the causes of deafness in little 
children? (Preface, pp. 12, 13, 14.) 

Are there any ways of preventing deafness 
in little children? (Preface, pp. 14, 15, 16.) 

How early can deafness be discovered in a 
little child? (Pp. 38, 39, 40-41.) 

How can the fact of deafness in a little 
child be determined (Pp. 38 to 43.) 

How can the degree of impairment of hear- 
ing be determined in a little child? (Pp. 
38 to 43.) 

At what age can the parents be sure of the 
degree of deafness of the child? (Pp. 38 to 

What should be done first when deafness is 
suspected? (P. 27.) 

Can deafness be cured? (Preface, p. 16.) 

How can deafness be cured? (Preface, 
p. 16.) 

Can increase of degree of deafness be pre- 
vented? (Preface, p. 16.) 

How can increase in degree of deafness be 
prevented? (Preface, p. 16.) 


The Little Deaf Child 

Is total deafness in little children very 
common? (P. 31.) 

Is some degree of impairment of hearing 
very common among little children? (Pref- 
ace, p. 11.) 

Why is deafness not always suspected at 
once when it exists ? (Pp. 28, 29, 30.) 

Do some children possess some power of 
hearing without parents discovering it? 
(P. 28.) 

How can that be so ? (P. 28.) 

Can a partial hearing that had not been 
discovered be trained to be useful? (Pp. 30, 
31, 32.) 

Can a little child have some hearing and 
yet not learn to speak? (P. 28.) 

Why does a deaf child not learn to speak? 
CP. 24.) 

Can a totally deaf child be taught to speak? 
(P. 24.) 

How early can the instruction of a little 
deaf child begin? (Pp. 23, 44.) 

Can any instruction be given at home by 
the parents and friends? (P. 43, etc.) 

How can parents learn how to teach their 
deaf children at home? (Preface, p. 18.) 

At what age should a deaf child go to 
school? (Preface, p. 19.) 


The Little Deaf Child 

Where are the special schools for deaf 
children? (Pp. 152, 153.) 

What are the charges? (Pp. 152, 153.) 

At what age are deaf children admitted to 
the special schools ? ( Pp. 152, 153. ) 

Must a deaf child be taught finger spelling 
and the sign language? (Pp. 153-154.) 

What can an educated deaf person do? 
(Pp. 21, 22.) 



Accent, pp. 139 to 141 

After fifth year of life, p. 150 

Age for beginning instruction, p. 18, Preface 

Arrangement of light, p. 68 

Association of ideas with sound, p. 96 

Auricular training, pp. 28, etc., 96, etc. 

Auricular training. Object of, pp. 93, 96 to 104 

Breathing exercises, pp. 74, 83 

Causes of deafness in children, pp. 12 to 16, Preface 
Chances of inheriting deafness, p. 12, Preface 
Character training, p. 72 
Comprehension and perception, p. 95 
Cures of deafness, pp. 12, 13, 14, Preface 

Deaf Child's peculiar situation, p. 5, 6, 7, Foreword 
Deafness Cure Fakes, p. 155 
Deafness, Psychological, pp. 39, 92 
Diet, p. 71 

Dumbness not necessarily a result of deafness, p. 24 

Exaggeration of speech, pp. 52, 64, 65 
Early knowledge of deafness necessary, p. 23 

Fifth year of life, p. 119, etc. 
First two years of life, p. 21, etc. 
Fourth year of life, p. 106, etc. 

Guidance for home instruction, p. 18, Preface 

Hear, Necessity of learning to, pp. 30, 96, 99 
Hearing, Eesidual, pp. 28, etc., 31, etc. 
Hearing, Tests for, pp. 38, etc., 86, etc^ 
Home instruction, Guidance for, pp. 18, 34, 43, etc. 


The Little Deaf Child 

Ideas, Association of with sound, p. 96 
Inheriting deafness, Chances of, p. 12, Preface 
Instruction, Age for beginning, p. 18., Preface 
Instruction, Home, p. 18, Preface, pp. 34 to 43 

Japanese father's exceptional accomplishment, p. 8, etc., 

Language acquisition, pp. 24, 26, 33 
Learning to hear, Necessity of, pp. 30, 96, 99 
LipreadiQg, pp. 50 to 70, 85, etc. 

Mirror, Use of, p. 52, etc. 

Modifications of treatment immediately required by deaf- 
ness, pp. 28, 34 

Names of letters, p. 114, etc. 
Needs of deaf child, p. 5, etc., Foreword 
Number of deaf children in XJ. S., p. 11, Preface 
Number teaching, pp. 107, 148, etc. 

Occupations open to the deaf, pp. 21, 22 

Partial deafness, p. 28, etc. 

Peculiar situation of the deaf child, p. 5, etc.. Foreword 
Percentage of children with usable hearing in. school for the 
deaf, p. 31 

Percentage of deaf children in U. S., p. 11, Preface 
Percentage of totally deaf children in schools for the deaf, 
p. 31 

Perception and comprehension, p. 95 

Physical condition, p. 70 

Pitch of sounds, pp. 42, 104 

Prevention of deafness, p. 11, etc., Preface 

Psychological deafness, pp. 39, 92 

Eange of hearing, p. 28, etc., 38 
Reading, p. 109, etc., 142, etc. 
Recognition of deafness. Early, p. 22 
Record of tests, p. 101 

Residual hearing, p. 28, etc., 31, etc., 90, etc. 


The Little Deaf Child 

Schools for the deaf, p. 152, etc. 
Sense training, pp. 43, 82 
Sight, Tests of, p. 77, etc. 
Sixth year of life, p. 150 

Slight deafness more serious in a child than an adult, pp. 5, 
21, 24 

Sound perception, p. 28, etc. 
Sound transmission, p. 29 
Sounds of letters, pp. 114, etc., 133, etc. 
Sounds not within the range of the speaking voice, pp. 42, 
104, 114 

Special needs of the deaf child, p. 5, Foreword 
Speech exercises, p. 113, etc. 
Speech teaching, pp. 75, 113, etc. 

Teaching speech, pp. 75, 113, etc. 
Teaching to read, pp. 109, etc*, 142, etc. 
Test, Record of, p. 101 
Tests for hearing, pp. 35, etc., 86, etc. 
Third year of life, p. 77, etc. 

Vibration, pp. 85, 129 

Visual resemblances between sounds, pp. 59, etc., 62 
Vocabulary, pp. 68, etc., 86 

"Why deaf children may be dumb, p. 24 




HV2380 c.l 

Wright, John Dutton 
The little deaf child. 

Date Due